Friday, May 02, 2008

The Gadsden Flag

In 1775, two battalions of Continental Marines were recruited in Philadelphia, in accordance with an act of Congress.

The first Continental Marines that were recruited there carried yellow drums depicting the soon to be famous coiled rattlesnake and the words "DON'T TREAD ON ME".

In the same year, one Colonel Christopher Gadsden, a member of the Marine Committee tasked with organizing the first mission of the newly formed Continental Navy, presented to the freshly appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, a flag with a field of brilliant yellow, its charge, a coiled rattlesnake of thirteen rattles, below it the infamous words of defiance.

The flag was given with the intent of being the Commodore's personal standard.

The yellow ensign was also presented in Charleston, South Carolina, where it often flies to this day.

Though mostly forgotten, the butternut banner is as old as the nation itself; many men fought and died under its sempiternal phrase. Shamefully, the Betsy Ross flag coaxed it out of history books as the flag of the Revolution.

Not many Americans know what it is or means.

Old Glory remains the flag that symbolizes the Union of States, but the Rattler Flag stands as an emblem of the ideology and aspirations of the Nation thereof.

That is why I fly one of America’s very first flags.

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