The Gadsden snake is a rattlesnake found on the Gadsden Flag. The Gadsden Flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden for the Navy’s first commander-in-chief, Commodore Esek Hopkins, and is one of America’s pioneer flags.
On the flag is a coiled American timber rattlesnake, which can only be seen in the US. When the Gadsden Flag was created, the snake was a prominent emblem of America, a movement initiated by Ben Franklin in the 18th century. When he publicized America’s foremost political cartoon, a snake sliced into eight portions with the inscription, “Join or Die,” which depicted Franklin’s notion that the colonies were required to unite or they weren’t going to make it (a belief that was ridiculed the time).
America of the time aligned with the rattlesnake in many ways. Not only was it born to this country they called home, but it exemplified courage and vigilance. The daring and vigilant personality of the rattlesnake is a symbol to all Americans that they must remain watchful in their constitutional rights and freedoms.
Here are a few remarks on the snake’s symbolism:
Emblem of Vigilance: The rattlesnake has very sharp eyes and is accordingly regarded to be a symbol of vigilance. This is the same kind of perception Americans must have to attain and uphold their freedom.
Emblem of Magnanimity and True Courage: The Gadsden Rattlesnake never starts an attack, nor, when once confronted, ever concedes. She never injures till she has sufficiently given a warning, even to her enemy, and warned the individual against the danger of treading on her.
Emblem of Unity: The snake’s rattle, seen on its tail, is made up of 13 sections, depicting the 13 colonies united in America. This symbolizes an outcry for peace between the thirteen colonies against Britain. It also speculates how uncommon and remarkable, how unique and self-sufficient each state the rattles of this snake are, but yet how united they are. One of those rattles individually is not capable of generating sound, but the ringing of thirteen rattles concurrently is enough to intimidate the most courageous man living.
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