This image was published in the May 9, 1754 issue of Franklin's paper, The Pennsylvania Gazette.
www.gadsdenandculpeper.com started carrying the flag in 2001 and it was popularized during HBO's award winning John Adams mini-series.
Join, or Die is a famous political cartoon created by Benjamin Franklin and first published in his Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754. The original publication by the Gazette is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake severed into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initial of a British American colony or region. However, New England was represented as one colony, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. In addition, Delaware and Georgia were omitted completely. Thus, it has 8 segments of snake rather than the traditional 13. The cartoon appeared along with Franklin's editorial about the "disunited state" of the colonies, and helped make his point about the importance of colonial unity.