Iconography of Gadsden Flag


Registered Member
The Gadsden Flag
(Move this thread if you do not think it belongs.)

I put this discussion under, “psychology” because the famous “Don’t Tread on Me” (The Gadsden flag) represents a lot of things to a lot of people, and I really wanted to know what this iconography represents to individuals. I suppose this is mostly aimed at other Americans, but I want all opinions on this.

The Gadsden flag has been unofficially adopted by a lot of groups, individuals, and organizations—from Benjamin Franklin’s conceptualization of the rattlesnake representing the band of American Colonies in their defense against tyranny, to Christopher Gadsden designing the popularized version, to the flag being used for the United States Marine Corps, to the cover art and title song of Metallica’s Black Album, to the unofficial flag of the Tea Party movement, to the change from the snake into a porcupine for Vermont’s Free State Project.

Question: When you see this flag, of what do you think? What do you feel? To you, what does it represent? Do you have a negative or positive reaction?
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Lion Rampant
I've always loved the Gadsden flag, even using it as a forum avatar during Bush 43. The great irony of this great symbol of defiance being used by Tea Partiers and the like is that it was based on an earlier woodcut by Ben Franklin, specifically created with the message of keeping the nation united. (Suck on that, secessionists.)

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I'm serious
Umm. Yeah. Alright then. If I say this is the first time I've seen or heard of this flag, will you think I'm stupid or ignorant. This is obviously an American thing... I've not seen or heard of this in movies.

Question: When you see this flag, of what do you think? What do you feel? To you, what does it represent? Do you have a negative or positive reaction?

When I see this flag I think of any movie I might have seen that made mention of this flag, but then I fail! I feel stupid and very un-American. To me it represents a nation I clearly do not know as much about as I thought I did. And my reaction upon seeing it is pretty much meh!

Thanks for giving me a new Wiki topic though. And sorry if that was not the answers you very hoping for! You did say you wanted outsiders opinions as well!


Registered Member
I am familiar with this flag...I do have good feelings for what it represents.....As for how I perceive it, "Don't Tread On Me" if you do not approach a rattle snake, or step on it, you will not get struck by it, though if you do then hesitation for defense will not be experienced.....you won't even know that the Rattler is present unless you get to close on infringing it's right to an area....not sure if this is making sense...been a long past couple of weeks for me....

Why do you not see it talked about in the Media or heavily in movies? The same reason you hear every day how well the economic recovery at the hands of Obama is going, the same reason you read about the census worker that is threatened with a pick, but hear nothing about the census worker that used his position to case potential robbery locations and then when surprised by the owner shot and killed him....the main stream media is biased towards a socialistic view of things, that those that possess more than others are in the wrong because they do, those left to their own design will not perform acts that will benefit others....that it is to dangerous to allow people to think freely as they may come up with ideas that are not those they support.....

Sorry just a few quick thoughts off the top of my head, I mean seriously, these people spouting for spreading the wealth like George Soros how much money does this guy have? Are we to believe that his interest is for the betterment of all people, or should we be weary to the fact that it is nothing more than a move to attain more power and control? Wondering minds want to know.....

Why is the Don't Tread On Me not a prevalently known symbol? Because it is only called forth when the quiet, those that know that they ultimately control their own destiny by taking advantage of existing opportunity and creating opportunity when no other exists...those people live as they feel they should, once that way of life is threatened to an extreme point, only then will they stand up to let it be known "Don't Tread On Me", I support your right to live as you wish, you will respect my right to do the same or we will have problems......

Okay...rant off....:D