Don't Tread On Me

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Don't Tread On Me Window Decal

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words "DONT TREAD ON ME" [or I will strike]. The flag is named after American general and politician Christopher Gadsden, who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution.

Though it appears to have hibernated for a while, new versions of the Gadsden flag became popular shortly after 9/11. At that time, one could assume that the phrase and ideology of the flag were the same was in the 1700s: don’t mess with the United States or you’re in trouble.

Possibly the most common interpretation of the Gadsden flag today involves gun ownership and rights. Many assume that the phrase is cautioning the government and other people in general against trying to take rights away from gun owners.

Specifically, regarding the Second Amendment, many people proudly display the Don’t Tread on Me flag as a way of asserting their right to gun ownership in a political climate where it seems no rights are guaranteed.


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