Philadelphia Union

The Volatile And Complex History Of The ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Flag

Flown by many protesters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the Gadsden flag has a design that is simple and graphic: a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow field with the text “Don’t Tread On Me.” But that simple design hides some important complexities, both historically and today, as it appears in rallies demanding President Donald Trump be allowed to remain in office.