HISTORY OF GADSDEN AND CULPEPER:
Since colonial days, the rattlesnake has been used to portray the spirit of Americans. In 1751, Benjamin Franklin published a political essay describing the 13 American colonies as a snake divided reminding us of the danger of disunity.
In 1774, Colonel Gadsden of the Revolutionary Army emphasized this by printing the legend "DONT TREAD ON ME" on his flag.
The words swept the nation. The Culpeper Minutemen chose the coiled snake ready to strike and the words from Gadsden's flag, but then raised another defiant fist at the enemy by adding "LIBERTY OR DEATH"
The coiled snake might seem a strange symbol today, but it is effective. NO PERSON WHO EVER SEES IT FORGETS - AND THAT'S JUST THE KIND OF MESSAGE THE REVOLUTIONARIES WANTED TO SEND....