The Gadsden Flag Don’t Tread On Me Boy Gets Kicked Out of School

The internet blew up this week over a 12-year-old Colorado boy getting kicked out of school for wearing a Gadsden Flag Don’t Tread On Me patch on his backpack. It’s a yellow flag featuring a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” that has become a symbol of resistance against government overreach. In the past, it’s been a favorite of Tea Party enthusiasts and Second Amendment zealots. It also gained traction in Libertarian circles as a symbol promoting minimal government during the 1970s.Resource:

The Gadsden Flag’s history stretches back to the American Revolutionary War. Christopher Gadsden, a Charleston-born brigadier general in the Continental Army, designed it in 1775. The coiled rattlesnake on the yellow background is positioned above the words “Don’t Tread on me” in a nod to a biting satirical article Benjamin Franklin penned for the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1751.

Gadsden Flag: Don’t Tread On Me – A Symbol of Liberty

Gadsden’s flag is one of three that independence-minded colonists used to display their anti-British views in the run-up to the war. The Liberty and Pine Tree flags also featured the word “Liberty” on their backdrops. But Gadsden’s design was the most memorable.

In recent years, it’s soared in popularity among people who oppose big government overreach. That’s especially true as the Tea Party movement emerged during the Obama presidency when rhetoric at some rallies had racial undertones. In 2014, an African-American maintenance mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against his employer because, he claimed, one of his co-workers regularly wore a cap featuring the Gadsden Flag.

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