The slogan, “Don’t Tread on Me” has found new meaning in the 21st century with freedom-loving Americans as a symbol for those fed up with big government, big tech, and the take over of the educational industrial complex by radical Marxists and their endless attacks on the American way of life. But what does the phrase actually mean and where did it originate? Many would argue that the phrase has been with America from the very beginning and is often referred to as America’s battle cry against the oppression of the British.
The phrase was first coined by Soldier and Politician, Christopher Gadsen from South Carolina. And in what became known as the Gadsden flag, which featured a rattlesnake coiled above the expression on a yellow background, was first flown on a warship in 1775.
The snake symbolism was iconoclastic of the current times and our forefather, Benjamin Franklin often used the symbol to evoke and invoke the idea that America is much like a rattlesnake for whom never backs down and would surely strike should America be provoked!
The word, “Tread” in the phrase was defiant in meaning which clearly meant to not step, trample, crush, press, injure, or otherwise on a person or persons. For if so, the heavyweight that is bared down on him would cause him to strike his opponent. And so, with its tongue flicked, fangs out, and body coiled in defense, the rattlesnake (and motto) warns: “If you dare put your foot down on me, I will strike.”
While some have tried to undermine the imagery and slogan as somehow unamerican, the phrase has survived centuries of backlash and continues to be a force that brings unity and resolve to an otherwise embattled front.
The snake and phrase can often be found on patriotic apparel across the globe.
At Amerisport, we stand proudly as a purveyor of American culture and customs. We invite you to check out our complete line of sportswear with our take on the iconic “Don’t Tread on Me” theme.