Question by  onecrore (196)

What does "don't tread on me" mean?

I have seen this saying on a flag with a snake, but what does it mean?


Answer by  jtpaag (473)

It means do not step on me; do not push me around. It means the people want to think and choose for themselves, to make their own decisions, to have their own way. The snake implies that they are willing to show restraint, but be warned, they will strike if pushed too far.


Answer by  John (9008)

This term comes from the time just before the American revolution from England. It was coined to mean that the British should not step all over the American colonies. The analogy was that treating the colonists poorly was as dangerous as stepping on a snake. The term grew popular and a flag was made with the snake and the motto.


Answer by  willard (874)

The rattlesnake was an early symbol of American independence. The rattlesnakes was originally used by Benjamin Franklin, but was adopted by Gadsen on the flag that bears his name. The warning "Don't tread on me. " on the flag refers to the snakes tendency to leave alone those who leave it be, but to strike at those who don't.


Answer by  Gabriel (2146)

It traces its roots to Benjamin Franklin and the revolution. Franklin had published an article comparing the snake to the convicts King George was sending to colonize the US. A statesman named Gadsen added the phrase to his flag, to symbolize the desire of the colony's to be free from being "walked on" by the British Empire.

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