Category: Flags of US

The Gadsden Flag


As most of you know, I love research and when I come across something unusual I always try to add it to my blog file to share.  Today is one of those blogs where I knew nothing about the subject and was certainly excited to learn more and share.

The Gadsden Flag is a historical American flag with a bright yellow field depicting a rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike.  Printed under the snake are the words “Dont Tread On Me” (and I didn’t make a mistake by leaving the apostrophe out). This flag was named after its designer, American statesman Christopher Gadsden.

Benjamin Franklin first used the rattlesnake in 1751 when he referenced it in a satirical commentary that he published in his Pennsylvania Gazette.  As the American Revolution approached, the snake became a symbol of the colonies and the American spirit.

The United States Navy was established in 1775, and before ships departed for their first mission, Gadsden presented the commander-in-chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, with the “Dont Tread On Me” flag to serve as his personal standard.

The Gadsden flag is considered to be one of the first flags of the United States, and has been reintroduced many times since the American Revolution as a symbol of American patriotism.


Many variations of the Gadsden flag exist:

  • The motto sometimes includes an apostrophe in the word “Dont” and sometimes does not.  Early written discussions uniformly included the apostrophe; however, as early as 1917, a flag reference book includes a picture of a version without the apostrophe.
  • The typeface used for the motto is sometimes a serif typeface and other times sans-serif.
  • The rattlesnake sometimes is shown as resting on a green ground, presumably grassy, and sometimes not.  The green grass seems to be a recent addition; representations dating from 1885 and 1917 do not display anything below the rattlesnake.
  • The rattlesnake usually faces to the left, and the early representations mentioned above face left.  However, some versions of the flag show the snake facing to the right.

If you wish to learn more about the various “Snake Flags” representing the United States, there’s a great explanation on Wikipedia:

I’m interested in knowing how many of you previously had heard of the Gadsden flag, or for that matter, any U.S. snake flag.



To one lucky commenter, I will give you a choice of one of

my eBook  Contemporary “Kasota Spring Romances”

The Troubled Texan or The Tycoon and the Texan,



Updated: July 30, 2017 — 2:26 pm