Don’t Tread On Me?

In August, the Washington Post exposed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation into the Gadsden Flag. Apparently wearing a hat with a rattlesnake and “Don’t Tread On Me” was too triggering for some employees to handle. They claim that the flag is racist because the designer, Christopher Gadsden, was a slave owner and trafficker. Students at Nova Southeastern University claim: that’s ridiculous. 

“[The Gadsden Flag] is not racist at all, it’s a sign of the colonies joining together against the British. There were never any underlying tones of racism in its origination. People should learn history before they make accusations like that.” – Sarah M

“Claiming the flag is racist makes no sense at all. It’s not like it’s a swastika that has been used maliciously to target people based on their ethnicity. Saying that it’s racist is just trying to start an argument where there’s no basis for one.” – Jordan P

“First of all, that’s bull… There are so many other things happening that are actually racist that we should be focusing on, not this. We shouldn’t be trying to make more up.” -Erin M

What’s next, is the national anthem going to be racist because Francis Scott Key owned slaves? Not only was he a slave owner, but he was a yuuugeeee anti-abolitionist. As a founding member of the American Colonization Society, he wanted free blacks sent back to Africa to prevent rebellion of slaves. If that fact can be overlooked by millions every day, why is the Gadsden flag such a big deal? Newsflash, if we get rid of everything that was created by slave owners, we are getting rid of a massive portion of our nations founding. We can’t change that, as horrible as it is, slavery was common practice at that time. We shouldn’t label the flag as racist when it was never designed to be or utilized that way.

The fact of the matter is, whoever wrote the song or designed the flag isn’t important now. What we need to focus on is the years of history and tradition.  Since its conception in the revolutionary war, the Gadsden flag has played a major role in our country, even to this day. Besides its use in the military and a symbol for the Tea Party, popular culture has embraced the bright yellow banner. Aspects of the Gadsden flag has been a part of the U.S. men’s soccer uniform, video games, music, and of course, NASCAR. We can’t get rid of this part of American culture because of a few hurt feelings.

Sorry not sorry EEOC, but the Gadsden flag is not something you can tread on.

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