Streetwise Professor

July 17, 2019

Have “Issues” With the Gadsden Flag?: GFY

Filed under: History,Politics — cpirrong @ 6:30 pm

Post-Charlottesville, I have often stated that the war on American history would not end with Confederate generals, or Confederate privates. Every American historical figure is at risk. Recent evidence of this was the city of Charlottesville’s decision to end its observance of Jefferson’s birthday. But almost every day some American figure or symbol is being targeted.

Around July 4th, it was the Betsy Ross flag. Now it is the iconic “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden Flag. Why? Because apparently some white supremacist somewhere has embraced it.

I guess that makes the United States Navy a white supremacist organization. From 1980 to 2002, the Navy used a variant of the rattlesnake/Don’t Tread on Me symbol on the Navy Jack flown by the oldest commissioned ship in the fleet. Since 11 September, 2002, all ships in the Navy have used this jack. I guess that also makes the United States Naval Academy (one of my alma maters) a white supremacist organization: Navy sports teams have worn rattlesnake/Don’t Tread on Me-emblazoned uniforms since 2014.

The rattlesnake symbolism was widely employed in the years before the American Revolution. The rattlesnake does not strike unless threatened: the patriots/revolutionaries who used the rattlesnake iconography were telling the British that they would not threaten them if left alone, but they would defend themselves if Britain used force against them.

The Navy connection dates back to the Revolution as well. The first contingent of Marines marched under the Gadsden Flag–a yellow banner with a coiled rattlesnake and the legend “Don’t Tread on Me”–in 1775, and the flag was adopted by the first commander-in-chief of the Navy as his pennant in that same year.*

Indeed, the Gadsden Flag is arguably more representative of the Revolutionary spirit and ethos than the Betsy Ross flag. Which is why Americans who revere the ideals of the Revolution fly it and wear its emblem on their clothing. Or display it on their refrigerators: I have a Don’t Tread on Me Navy Jack magnet on mine.

But despite its deep connection with American independence, and the ideals of liberty, it’s now beyond the pale. Because white supremacy.

But here’s the thing: the progressive left defines white supremacy, and who is a white supremacist. And they define it to include anyone who honors the ideals of the Founding, the history of the Founding, and the Founders themselves.

Beto O’Rourke gave away the game: “The country was founded on white supremacy.” The obvious implication is that anything associated with the Founding is stained by the original sin of white supremacism. Therefore, anyone associated with the Founding is a white supremacist, as is anyone who believes that the Founding was on the whole a great boon not just for the American people, but for the world. And anyone who wears symbols associated with the Founding must be a white supremacist too.

So here is my response.

You have “issues” with the Gadsden Flag? Go fuck yourself.

You have “issues” with the Betsy Ross flag? Go fuck yourself.

You have “issues” with my “Come and Take It” shirt? Go fuck yourself.

I could go on. But you get the idea.

Perhaps you consider this intemperate and confrontational. I agree! It is intemperate and confrontational by intent. Just like the Gadsden Flag.

David French and his ilk argue that we must engage in civil discussion with the progressive left. This is a delusional attempt at appeasement: the Woken SS will never be appeased. They will pocket any concession you make today (well, Thomas Jefferson did own slaves, after all, so I guess we should consign him to the Memory Hole) and then proceed without even a thank you to their next target. And they will do so until every last vestige of the American past is similarly damned to oblivion and extirpated from our collective memory.

As O’Rourke’s remark reveals (and he has company, believe me), these people fundamentally hate and despise the Founding principles–and principals–of this country. There is no room for compromise here. There is no common ground. This is a fundamental conflict of visions.

This is about power and control. This is about them trying to shut people like me down and to shut people like me up–and if you read this blog, probably people like you too. And when somebody tries to shut me down or shut me up, I tell them to go fuck themselves.

If they’re lucky.

*The Navy Jack is probably a misrepresentation of the actual flag flown over the first ships of the Continental Navy. There is no doubt that Commodore Hopkins’ fleet flew a flag with the rattlesnake/Don’t Tread on Me symbols, but it was the Gadsden Flag, given to Hopkins by Gadsden himself. The uncoiled rattlesnake on a banner with 13 alternating red and white stripes was depicted in a 1776 British print of Hopkins, engraved by someone who had never seen either Hopkins or his ships. This print was used as the basis for a modern representation in the 1880s. John Adams and Benjamin referred to a South Carolina ships with a rattlesnake over 13 stripes.

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  1. As the CT ANG says on their flag “Go Flying Yankees”. I’ll leave it to get the acronym.

    Comment by The Pilot — July 17, 2019 @ 6:45 pm

  2. After the revelations of Martin Luther King’s rapes a few months back I can’t wait to wish everyone Happy Rapist Day come January.

    Comment by I.M. Pembroke — July 17, 2019 @ 9:42 pm

  3. […] Yes, we must use this phrase more often: […]

    Pingback by The Woken SS | Tim Worstall — July 18, 2019 @ 4:01 am

  4. holey moley – the lefties are trying to get rid of the “kulaks” in the US!!!!!

    and everyone who dares to question them or does not kowtow or bow down to them is a —- “kulak”!!

    and, yes, the comrades decide who is or is not a “kulak”

    of course, in the US, where history is not taught, very few will know about the effort to eliminate the “kulaks”

    certainly not the media idiots

    Go Flying Yankees!!!!!

    (people who used Citizens Band invented wonderful phrases because profanity was not allowed on Citizens Band – so, yes, Go Flying Yankees)

    Comment by elmer — July 18, 2019 @ 7:31 am

  5. “anything associated with the Founding is stained by the original sin of white supremacism” – so that means the Constitution (including the Bill of Rights), the separation of powers, Congress, the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building etc. are all racist by nature and must be replaced. I wonder how they’re planning to achieve that?

    Comment by Emperor of Ice Cream — July 18, 2019 @ 11:11 am

  6. @Emperor–They are definitely working on it. Right now a primary target is the Electoral College. Then the Senate. Re the Bill of Rights, the 1st and 2nd Amendments are clearly under attack. The leftist MO is to alter these things via the courts, rather than via actually going through the process of amending the Constitution. Re the Supreme Court, some Democratic candidates have already suggested various forms of court-packing.

    A hostility to the Constitution has been a fundamental part of the progressive mindset since the birth of the progressive movement around the turn of the 20th century. Woodrow Wilson, may he rot in hell, was hostile to everything in your list and he and his ilk made strides against them in his administration. For instance, direct election of senators, and the creation of the administrative state. These efforts gained considerable ground under FDR. The Constitution remained largely unchanged formally, but as the result of many Supreme Court decisions, and the creation of regulatory agencies, practically it was a very different document post-FDR than it was pre-FDR.

    I would suggest that the current leftists have a similar strategy in mind. This is why they lose their minds over Trump’s Supreme Court and Appeals Court picks. And this is precisely why, regardless of your personal opinion of Trump, you should be grateful for his election. The courts are the real battleground and the means by which the left aims to gut the Constitution. They’ve had considerable success on that front in the past. Trump’s election has stymied those plans. For now. But these people are relentless.

    Comment by cpirrong — July 18, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

  7. You should also look at “Critical Race Theory” being taught at universities across the US.

    CRT is a subjectivist narrative that assumes its conclusions. Not that most sociologists and cultural studies mavens find circular logic suspect. CRT dominates sociology departments. Feminists include it in their notions of intersectionality.

    CRT teaches that the US is inherently racist. By the US, these people mean the British colonists. Caucasian Anglo-Saxons are the US. They are depicted as reflexively and irremediably racist. Everyone else — notably non-Caucasian people — is just intercalated into the US, but not part of it. There, they are oppressed.

    CRT is even taught these days in university Law Schools, where its anti-logic enters into and distorts legal reasoning, converting it into grievance revenge. Its judgments are grounded in political whimsy.

    Hordes of kids are taught that their culture is inherently evil. They leave school desperate to dissociate themselves from it and to absolve themselves of its sin. The most extreme (read mindless) are the antifa folks. The rest vote progressive or democrat, and see the end of the US as an imposed socialist paradise.

    Self-delusion is the paramount trait of the progressives. Their delusional fixation is compassion and equity but their activities reveal bald power seeking and bigotry. If these people ever achieve the power they want, we’ll see gulags and political executions in the US.

    Comment by Pat Frank — July 18, 2019 @ 7:18 pm

  8. appeasement. good descriptive word for people like French.

    Comment by Jeffrey Carter — July 18, 2019 @ 7:55 pm

  9. […] I wasn’t aware that Gadsden’s flag had become an “issue” recently. But, that said, everything is becoming an issue these days. Everything is white supremacist, everything is racist. Tim Worstall links to a blog about this. […]

    Pingback by Gadsden’s Flag – Longrider — July 19, 2019 @ 3:08 am

  10. CRT as described above sounds like a good argument for breaking up the US into multiple states based on race, because whites are so hopelessly racist and evil that no one should be forced to live with them. White nationalists, whose ultimate goal is a white ethnostate, might want to support CRT as a way to achieve their goal.

    Comment by Emperor of Ice Cream — July 19, 2019 @ 9:02 am

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