For many Americans, the Gadsden flag has come to symbolize "patriotism" and "political activism." For others, it is a sign of “rebellion” or “resistance toward government.” Battle flags featuring rattlesnakes and defiant slogans such as “Live Free or Die” and “Don’t Tread On Me” had their purpose during the French and Indian War as well as the American Revolution. America is no longer fighting for its independence or trying to thwart foreign nations that occupy our land. Such phrases and symbols are totally at odds with modern-day democratic principles. It is not patriotic. It does not show national pride.
Using the Gadsden flag may be appropriate for historians, collectors, Revolutionary War enthusiasts and members of our military. It is a lousy symbol for political parties and grass roots movements in 21st Century America. The Gadsden flag does not reflect our country’s principles of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness and equality.
Americans should follow the position of George Washington and many other "Founding Fathers" concerning the Gadsden flag. They dismissed its usefulness at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, preferring to use other conventional patriotic symbols such as the "Stars and Stripes" (the official U.S. flag), the American Bald Eagle or the Liberty Bell.