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"G" is for Gadsden Flag

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"G" is for Gadsden flag. The Gadsden flag, consisting of a gray, coiled rattlesnake on a bright yellow background with the words DON’T TREAD ON ME inscribed beneath, became a popular symbol of the American Revolution. Dating back to the French and Indian War, the indigenous rattlesnake had been an important political symbol in the American colonies. Inferential evidence and the weight of tradition attribute the creation of this particular flag to Christopher Gadsden, one of South Carolina’s delegates to the Continental Congress. Gadsden presented “an elegant standard’ to the South Carolina Provincial Congress on February 9, 1776. As a member of the Naval Committee of the Continental Congress, Gadsden had also presented the flag to the commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy, who used a version of the Gadsden flag as the country’s first naval jack.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.