When I first met my husband over a decade ago he had a Gadsden Flag bumper sticker, although he is the antithesis of a Tea Party buffoon. He had the sticker because he appreciated its original intent. Unfortunately, the sticker met with a razor blade around 2009 after the right-wing highjacked and tainted the misconstrued symbol.
The flag is now synonymous with the Tea Party movement. The members of the party have fixated on only a small portion of the history behind the banner. While the American Revolution was absolutely about defying a government where one had no representation, the flag was not an emblem used to show this particular facet of the war. This flag was actually flown in the spirit of unification. It was displayed as something uniquely American, symbolic of our unified nationhood.
So what happens when a Tea Party “patriot” goes up against a fact-slinging liberal troll regarding “facts” about the Gadsden flag?
A brief lesson in history.
When confronted with the “fact” that the flag was “about government oppression,” liberal commenter Lady Grey corrects a very confused “patriot.”
Benjamin Franklin perfectly illustrated his thoughts on the unity represented by the now harrowed symbol in a letter he wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal in 1775. Under the name An American Guesser, Franklin said:
‘Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living.
Our federal government IS that unification. The very flag that Teabaggers are flying against a “tyrannical” federal government was actually the flag used to create it. Of course, that fact isn’t lost on everyone. Many, many memes have been created in response to the right-wing misappropriation of this flag. Here are just a few shared by Lady Grey:
Featured image via Wikipedia