Gadsden Flag
Don't Tread on Me

The Culpeper Flag

Culpeper Dont Tread on Me Liberty or Death flag
Flag of the Culpeper Minute Men.

The Gadsden flag and other rattlesnake flags were widely used during the American Revolution. There was no standard American flag at the time, not even Betsy Ross's stars and stripes.

People were free to choose their own banners.

The Minutemen of Culpeper County, Virginia, chose a flag that looks generally like the Gadsden flag, but also includes the famous words of the man who organized the Virginia militia, Patrick Henry: "Liberty or Death."

By the way, there's a fair amount of confusion about the spelling of Culpeper. You often see it spelled Culpepper, with three p's. These are both, legitimate alternate spellings of an English surname. But the flag should definitely be spelled Culpeper, since that's the official spelling of Culpeper, Virginia.

Patrick Henry's Liberty or Death Address Patrick Henry's "liberty or death" speech. Painting by Alonzo Chappel available as a 14 in. x 11 in. art print from

Note: This history of the Gadsden flag was written by me, Chris Whitten, based on extensive personal research. It also appears on You are welcome to quote from it, reprint excerpts, or even republish the entire thing. However, please give me credit and link to If you want to copy images, see the Gadsden flag clip art page. Thanks!

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