Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Gadsden Flag

There is some interesting history surrounding Christopher Gadsden, particularly his connections to the 'Sons of Liberty' (South Carolina), and that groups connection (symbolic or otherwise) to the 'Knights of the Golden Circle'.

What was once a flag representing freedom and rebellion by the colonies, is now taking on a much different role. Unfortunately over the years, the symbolism of the flag has been co-opted by various movements. Upon learning the history of the 'Knights of the Golden Circle', and the 'Sons of Liberty', and understanding their tactics from 150 years ago, what we are seeing now becomes very clear. The roots of the flag date back to the Pre-Revolution era... but its use over the years can be traced back to splinter groups from the North that eventually found their way to the South.

Interesting, eye opening stuff... I encourage all to do some reading. Bells will go off in your head when the dots connect.

Is it a symbol of terrorism? I don't know if we can call it that just yet (but it could be well on its way). However, it is definitely becoming a symbol representing the Republican Party. Republican members of Congress have now been seen embracing and waving the flag at rallies. They can no longer separate themselves from the ideas or the people that the flag represents today.


Mikhail Silverwood said...

There are many flags and many symbols that, through history, became famous for one reason or another; following that infamy, they were then adopted for other causes, and have hence been distorted.

I'll bet there's a rich list of examples that follow this forumla.

Anonymous said...

The Gadsen Flag has become a symbol for the anti gay, anti liberal, anti immigrant crowd. "Dont tread on me" to them means "dont come to my country and take what is mine"

Those that embrace the Gadsen Flag forget that their ancestor's came here illegally, and did not come to work but to kill million of Native Americans and Mexicans in order to use the country for their own..

The Gadsen Flag was used plentifully in the civil was as a symbol of pro slavery among the confederate army. To the confederates this flag and slogan meant "dont invade on my right to own slaves and live the southern american lifestyle"

When you see this flag on someones car or shirt, they are either uneducated sheep or know the meaning of it and are racist, unamerican bigots..

Mikhail Silverwood said...

You're well on the right track, Anonymous. Clearly we need to separate out this flag's historical and modern definitions, because it's unfair to whitewash the whole thing together in one illogical lump.

But that slogan, 'Don't come and take what's mine,' is the tradition call-cry of the small business owner. He is extremely individualistic, only seeing within his tiny little world of his business, and he has no understanding about the rest of the world outside of it. Under that type of severe isolation and loneliness, its natural to develop paranoia.

Essentially, that is what the American ultra-Right is: small business owners being paranoid about the outside world that they cannot understand. From the Tea Party, from the Gingrichites, from the McCarthyites, it's always about having this mysterious dark enemy that must be defeated in order to protect us from it's terror.

Remember that the American Revolution was a step forward in humanity, where republicanism, liberalism and democracy got their first breath of life, the colony breaking free of British Imperialism. By the standards of that time in history, 1776 was a progressive movement.

But, by today's standards, the people who call themselves conservatives, and use that flag, and follow Glenn Beck, and idolise the good old days of Reagan, are an extremely reactionary political force. The Tea Partyists are essentially a gigantic group of irrational, paranoid small business owners.

Anonymous said...

As a supporter of the gadsen flag i must disagree with your take on the flag wavers. Im not anti-gay or rascist or anything like that. For some its meaning has evolved beyond the original. I love my country and all the civil libertys i have not as a u.s. citizen but as a human being. And anyone whos trying to take that away is gonna have a fight...while you are correct about past meanings of the flag. So lets not go making assumptions until you understand the people your juding.