RTD Smear Article: Gadsden rattlesnake flag license plate popular in Virginia

(I want mine in Grey!!! Don’t think the Times Dispatch article is celebrating how well liked the plates are. It starts with a Charlottesville rally photo and descends from there. Obviously, libtards are as butthurt at the sight of these plates as they are at the ‘Choose Life’ plates. – DD)

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(Richmond Times Dispatch) – The Department of Motor Vehicles continues to sell the “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate, even as the symbol has become increasingly co-opted by right-wing American politics.

The design of the plate originates from the Gadsden Flag, a Revolutionary War symbol styled around the rattlesnake. The rattlesnake, which is both deadly and native to the Americas, is coiled, a symbol of America’s pugilistic stance against British rule. It was designed by South Carolina politician Christopher Gadsden, who owned slaves. Several regiments flew versions of the flag in campaigns against the British.

Virginia’s “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate has skyrocketed in popularity, from 38,000 in 2014 to more than 97,000 now.

The flag was then co-opted by the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Confederates flew a version of the flag with stars underneath to represent slave states in rebellion against the North. Pro-secession leaders flew rattlesnake flags, while Unionists circulated imagery of eagles devouring serpents by way of response.

In 2017, the flag was flown alongside Nazi and Confederate flags at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. It was flown on Jan. 6, when protestors stormed the U.S. capitol as legislators were voting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. And throughout the pandemic, the rattlesnake flag has been flown at anti-vaccination protests, including in Canada.

VCU American history professor Carolyn Eastman said that the symbolism of the flag, and therefore the plate, has shifted…

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