Gadsden Flag Crest Front Large Back (for Dark shirts)
One of the original Liberty flags of what would become the United States of America. It is generally attributed to Colonel Christopher Gadsden of Charleston, SC. He was head of the Sons of Liberty in South Carolina, and was referred to by some as the Sam Adams of the South. He was in Philadelphia in 1775 representing his home state in the Continental Congress. That was the year the Marines were first formed to join the defense of the fledgling colonies on the four ships purchased by Congress to serve as a navy. Gadsden was one of 3 members of the Marine committee. The drums of the Marines that first day in Philadelphia were adorned with a rattlesnake and the words Don't Tread On Me. Ben Franklin, a close friend and fellow patriot of Gadsden, noted that the rattlesnake is found in no other part of the world besides the United States. It has very sharp eyes and therefore also a symbol of vigilance. It never begins an attack nor, once engaged, never surrenders. The first recorded flag with the rattlesnake on a field of yellow and the motto Don't Tread In Me underneath, was presented to the Congress of the state of South Carolina as the flag of the new Continental navy. The snake on the flag had 13 rattles, the same number as number of colonies. Franklin also observed the number of the rattles on the snake could continue to grow. They were so strongly attached together they could not be separated except by completely destroying one rattle. One or two rattles would hardly be heard, but 13 would cause such a racket as to easily advise anyone nearby not to step on it.