July 19, 2023
~ also called Hopkins flag or Don’t Tread on Me flag
“With regards to the rattlesnake’s historical adoption as a symbol of the strength of American independence, Benjamin Franklin phrased it best in his essay published by the Pennsylvania Journal…
I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal,
and that she has no eye-lids. She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.
She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders:
She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.
As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her,
the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth,
so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal;
and even when those weapons are shown and extended for her defense,
they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal.
Conscious of this, she never wounds ’till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy,
and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.
Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?”
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