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Gadsden FlagDon't Tread on Me

The Gadsden Flag

Archive for the ‘Don't Tread on Me tattoos’ Category

New Don’t Tread Tats

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

It’s about time for our annual Gadsden tattoo update. I’ve been collecting the images that readers have e-mailed me and am finally sharing them.

The following tattoo belongs to Jessie James Marker from Saginaw, Michigan.

Jessie's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Jessie says: “I got this tattoo to represent how I feel about our federal government. They are intruding on our daily lives more and more every month. With every piece of legislation passed, they are degrading the values of Liberty further and further. This is a reminder to anybody, including the Fed’s, to not mess with my life as long as I’m not messing with theirs.”

It’s such a little tattoo. I guess Jessie didn’t want to make too much of a statement with it.

Todd Burke is from South Jersey, near Atlantic City. (Hope you survived Hurricane Sandy OK, Todd.) This is his second tattoo:

Todd's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

I really like Todd’s tattoo. Highly original with lots of creative details. The way the snake is coming off the flag is awesome.

Todd says “I got it because it’s the original flag of the US and I feel it represents the beliefs our founding fathers fought for for our country. I also like it because today in modern times it is perceived as a rebel flag to our modern, corrupt government. ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ to me should be how the US should operate, don’t mess with us or we’ll mess you up. Similarly, if you don’t do anything to us we will leave you alone. Just like a rattlesnake.”

Stewart A. got his tattoo done by Rocky at MatSu Tattoo in Wasilla, Alaska. Now, I forget, how is that I know Wasilla? ;-)

Stewart's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Stewart saw a similar one on our Gadsden tattoo archive but “didn’t like the cobra head, since there are no cobras in the US, and I wanted to include the 13 rattles.”

He referenced the quote attributed to Ben Franklin: “I confess I was wholly at a loss what to make of the rattles, ’till I went back and counted them and found them just thirteen, exactly the number of the Colonies united in America; and I recollected too that this was the only part … of the Snake which increased in numbers.”

For more on this see the Gadsden Flag History page.

Jeff Mitchell is from New Zealand. Here’s his colorful bit of American-inspired ink:

Jeff's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Jeff writes, “I was fortunate enough to come across Alex Jones and many similar people (online), so I’ve known about the Gadsden Flag for years, and recently I made it a permanent part of my arm!”

This one was sent to me by 19-year-old Hayley, an active duty copy in US Air Force:

Hayley's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Hayley writes, “I’ve always considered myself a Constitutionalist, and decide to live my life by the rights our founding forefathers gave us. I live in Illinois, which is the only state that doesn’t allow concealed carry of any kind. I found this tattoo only appropriate.”

Bruce M. got his tattoo done by James Rogers of the St. Louis Tattoo Company in Chesterfield, MO:

Bruce's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Bruce told me an amusing story about when he was getting it: “While he was tattooing me I saw his cell phone desktop image and it was the Obama ‘08 election symbol with the tri color circle with ‘Change’ on it. I immediately thought I had the wrong guy tattooing me, I hoped at that point that he had no idea what DTOM symbolized. Eventually he told me he had designed a poster with the Obama design I saw on his cell pnone. He told me then that it said ‘Change It Back’ and was a protest against Obama. Brother was I relieved. James did a great job on my tattoo. I’m now thinking I will get the Gonzales flag tattooed on my left arm.”

The Gonzales flag Bruce is talking about is the fierce Texan “Come and Take It” with the cannon.

Cody C. “wanted to share my tattoo I got it because I love America and I am not happy with the path our growing government is taking us down.” Here it is:

Cody's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Nice tat, Cody.

Sean M. from West Des Moines, Iowa, got his first tattoo a few weeks ago:

Sean's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Sean writes, “I’m proud to be wearing it!”

Steve “The Lightning Man” Kalinowski got his in September 2011 at Black Orchid in Savannah, Georgia:

Steve's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

“I combined the Gadsden design with the crossed pistols of the US Army Military Police,” Steve writes. “I served as an MP from 1988 to 1992 and finally decided to commemorate my service.”

To browse the full collection of tattoos, here’s the archive and don’t miss the original page.

And be sure to send me a photo if you get one. I’m chris<--at--> Be sure to let me know if it would be OK for me to use the tattoo on this page and include a thing or two about yourself, what the tattoo means to you, why you got it, etc.

Gadsden Flag Tattoos

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

It’s been a full year since I did a tattoo update. Dozens of people have sent me great Don’t Tread on Me tattoos since June 2010, and here I am, finally sharing them.

Caleb's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Caleb L. is a platoon leader in the U.S. Army Cavalry stationed at Ft. Knox.

Caleb wrote, “I actually just handed my tattoo artist a printout of all the tattoos from your website and asked him to draw something similar but different, and this is what he came up with… hopefully my tattoo can help someone else choose theirs as well.”


Ronin's Gadsden tattoo

This fantastic sleeve belongs to Ronin from Northern Virginia. We spoke years ago when he was first considering it. Now that it’s done, it’s a masterpiece!

Ronin notes, “all thirteen rattles are on the snake, the ghostly skulls are for the men and women who gave all for rights, there is even one hidden in there wearing a tri-corn hat.”

Ronin's Gadsden tattoo

The artist that did Ronin’s sleeve is named Charon. In Ronin’s area she tattoos at Marlowe Ink, in Fairfax, VA, but she travels the country.

Ronin says, “Check out her site. [] She’s also a sword swallower, and a carney. She is pure awesome.”

She is pure awesome.” I love that. :-)

Andy's Gadsden tattoo

Andy Lewis from St. Louis, Missouri, got this tattoo on his left underarm at Iron Age Tattoo.

Big Joe's Gadsden tattoo

Big Joe is a 20-year Navy veteran, retired since 1996. His career started with the evacuation of Saigon and ended with Operation Desert Storm (Gulf War I).

Joe says, “I firmly believe in the US Constitution, as written, and feel it’s slipping away now bit by bit. All the arduous service that I and my freedom loving military brethren down through our nation’s history have sacrificed so much for is now being usurped and discarded. In a word, disrespected!”

His tattoo was done by Brian at Ink Obsessions, Cookstown, NJ.

Andrew's DTOM tattoo

Andrew F. from Des Moines, Iowa, has this amazing piece of artwork on his left side.

“I wanted the Gadsden flag, but didn’t want the same as everyone else’s. I had a tattoo artist draw this up, add his own twist to it, and had it done.”

Ken's Gadsden tattoo

Ken B. from Virginia says this is his first tattoo. The artist was recommended by his daughter.

“I thought of the Gadsden-type tattoo, because I’m a patriot first, but chose to let the artist get creative. I’m glad I did; he took images that meant something to me and created a masterpiece. I was an airborne tanker in the Army, and my soon-to-be-ex-wife hates snakes. ;-)”

Corey's DTOM tattoo

Corey writes, “I’m full time Guard. Been serving in the military for six years. This symbol is something that has always fit me but now more than ever with our change towards socialism. For me it takes on many forms: it is gun rights, guts, freedom from tyranny, hate, whatever it is to to you. I wear it proudly. I refused to be over run by government, trodden on by liberal views. I’m sticking firm and proud to my Southern heritage and God-given rights. Men died for our country. Not just now but many wars before so we can live in freedom. I’m gonna uphold that. Tread on me and you will feel a bite and believe it will be venemous. This tat represents me an American.”

Corey’s tattoo was done by Sacred Art in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu near Waikiki Beach.

John's Gadsden tattoo

John A. got this tattoo on his right forearm.

“As an retired Army veteran, I’m proud to wear a symbol that defends our freedom.”

Mark at Snake Eyes Tattoo in Sierra Vista, AZ, is the artist.

Britton's Gadsden tattoo

Britton is from Lyndonville, Vermont. (Which, coincidentally, is where I went to college for two years.)

Britton writes, “I have always been a patriotic kind of guy and this tattoo shows my patriotism and that I don’t like to put up with government bullshit. The snake to me represents the little guy and the words ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ mean that the government should leave us the hell alone. I got this tattoo on leave from Afghanistan by an artist by the name of Bald Bill at Yankee Tattoo in Burlington VT. Great Artist.”

Dennis's Gadsden tattoo

Dennis from Geneseo, NY, writes, “This tattoo reminds me of the millions of men and women who have fought and died for the freedoms I now enjoy and makes me think ‘what am I willing to give up to pass those freedoms onto my children?’”

Dennis’s work was done by Jimmy at Expressive Ink in Dansville, NY.

Zachary's Gadsden tattoo

Zachary B. from Michigan checked out this site for ideas while designing his.

“I got it done by a very talented artist named David at Canvas Tattoo in Eagan, MN. I got it because it so clearly and simply sums up my basic political ideology. Live free or die trying.”

Joe's DTOM tattoo

Joe R. from New Mexico writes, “I finally got mine, and it was free-handed by Raphael Harrison. Close to my heart, this says it all. Liberty or Death my friends.”

Mike's Gadsden tattoo

Mike J. writes, “I got the tattoo for two reasons. It symbolizes defiance to people who would threaten our freedom and being a former Marine I like that it was used at the muster of the first United States Marines. It was done by Ben Rooks at Skinpricks Tattoos in Chattanooga, TN.”

Phil's Gadsden tattoo

Phil S. of Cleveland, Ohio, writes “I come from a big conservative family. There are no tattoos on any of us seven siblings. But when they saw this one, they all approved. … One of my teenage daughters designed the inside of the snake for me (she drew a very detailed version that I have on my wall).”

Jim's Gadsden tattoo

Jim C. is in the US Air Force. He got this awesome tattoo because, he says, “I love God, guns, and my country.”

David's DTOM tattoo

This wicked tattoo belongs to David Morris in Northern California.

“I got this tattoo because I love my country and I want all around me to know it. The sad thing is most Americans have no idea what this means. … We must protect our country and not let the minority rule the majority. For our children’s sake.”

David’s tattoo was done by Eric Cressy at Seventh Son Tattoo in San Francisco.

Wallace's DTOM tattoo

Wallace Keeney from Flint, Michigan, had this clear message carved on his chest by Ryan Brown of Custom Ink and Steel.

Wallace writes, “I got this tattoo to be patriotic. I am about to enlist after my next semester of college. I want people to know that my country and myself are not to be tread on and that I am proud to be American!”


Rick's Gadsden tattoo

Rick R. is a Marine and a combat veteran. He writes, “I truly believe in my country. I am a diehard patriot. It’s beautiful to know there are so many more! … SEMPER FI! LIBERTY OR DEATH!”

William's DTOM tattoo

William K. writes, “I am not a bandwagon-jumper or some political affiliate, just a downhome New Hampshire-born patriot who loves his country, family, and guns!”

The tattoo was done by Mike, aka EZMoney, at Combat Ink in Loveland, Colorado.

New Don’t Tread on Me tattoos

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

The popularity of Don’t Tread on Me tattoos is growing as fast as the federal budget. Well, almost. Here are some that readers have been sending me this Spring.

The following bad-ass tat belongs to “Rock ‘n’ Roll Junky,” a police officer in New Jersey. He writes, “I am a devout patriot who holds traditional views of our country and what it stands for. The tattoo is a representation of all the dedication put forth by fellow patriots in fighting against tyranny and oppression. It is also a symbol of my oath to carry on the legacy of justice for the American people in preserving its liberties from enemies both foreign and domestic.” The ink was done by “Tattoo Tommy” of Jersey Tattoo.
Don't Tread on Me back tattoo

This one belongs to Rogers1270. “I was in search of the perfect tattoo and was inspired by one on your site. … This is my small thanks to my nephew who is currently kicking ass and taking names for our freedom in Afghanistan.” A rattlesnake wasn’t fierce enough for him, apparently, so with the help of Steve at The Quillian in Allentown, PA, it became a cobra.
Don't Tread on Me cobra tattoo

Rick Beedle from Tucson, Arizona — one of my favorite cities — “got the tattoo because I thought it fit the mood we are all in regarding the so called ‘leaders’. About time we all woke up and be heard. Will be attending our Tea Party meeting in Tucson in April. Think that says it all. Term limits should be our theme.”
Rick's rattlesnake tattoo

They just get better and better. I love this one. Craig P. has “been a Second Amendment rights supporter for years and had been thinking about getting a tattoo for that purpose. But with the current government situation we have it now has a lot more meaning then originaly anticipated.”
Rick's rattlesnake tattoo

Mike Young and his friend Jeff are in a California motorcycle riding group (not club) called the Gadsden Riders.
Gadsden Riders Mike and Jeff
In April they were at the annual Yuma Prison Run, Mike writes, “when Jeff and I finally dicided that this was the perfect time to get our Gadsden tattoos. The guys from Electric Budda Tattoo from Yuma, AZ had a vendor spot again this year and did a good job on my last tatt, so we hit them up again. I think he did a pretty good job considering he was working out in the heat with the dust blowing around.”
Mike and Jeff's Gadsden tattoos

Austin H. is an Air Force Major with “a deep love for liberty, freedom, and my country.” The creative variations on the Gadsden art people send continues to impress me. I love the use of the red-white-and-blue on Austin’s. In case it’s not clear from the photo: the rattlesnake is wrapped around a cannon firing a cannonball. He says he’s planning to have DTOM or “Liberty or Death” added below the snake soon.
Austin's rattlesnake ink

Here’s a unique Gadsden tattoo. Kevin from Dallas writes, “I am a Texan through and through, it will always be a part of me, so I chose to have the Gadsden snake over the Texas flag. The Gadsden snake reminds me to not compromise my values for anyone, or let anyone influence me in a negative way.” His ink was done at Trilogy Tattoo, in Memphis, TN, last Saturday.
Kevin's Don't Tread on Me Texas Flag tatoo

Anthony Welton and his buddy Travis DeMoss from Ada, OK got the following tattoos a couple months ago. Anthony writes, “Mine [on the left] was done at Jombus Ink and his [on the right] was done at Poison Apple, both in Ada. We were actually both going to get Gadsden tattoos until my fiancée found the Georgia $20 and I fell in love with it.”
Anthony's Nemo Me Impune tattooTravis's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Donald Weeks got this beauty at Tattoo Lou’s of Selden, New York. “I began flying this flag the day after election day 2008. I believe it represents the Freedom and Liberty that many brave men and women gave up their lives so we could live in the greatest nation in the world.”
nemo me impune lacessit tattoo

You’ll notice that Donald and Anthony, as well as some others I’ve featured here in the past, have included the motto “nemo me impune lacessit” on their tattoo. This is Latin for, approximately, “no one wounds me with impunity.” It’s been used in Scotland as early as 1707 and as Anthony mentioned it was used in America in various ways including on the Georgia $20 bill.

Jared S. got this tattoo when “when I came home from college this year. It took 3 1/2 hours. I’m not in any military or political group. I just love my country and that’s why I got this tattoo.” The Latin motto here is Veritas (truth), Aesquitas (justice), Libertas (freedom).
veritas - aesquitas - libertas tattoo

Adam from Pennsylvania got the following hardcore combination of tattoos after attending a Tea Party protest. “I am 39 and I have been following politics for most of my life. When the Department of Homeland Security came out with a report saying that returning military memebers, NRA members, and people with ‘Dont Tread On Me’ bumper stickers and flags were more of a threat to our Country than the terrorists I thought to myself, ‘What would they think of a man with ‘Dont Tread On Me’ tattooed on his body? … This was the day before the tea parties, so I went to our local tea party. It was freezing cold and raining, about 600 people showed up. I feel that it was one of the most important things I’ve ever done. That day I knew I had to get my tattoo.”

Adam's DTOM tattoos
Adam's DTOM tattoos
Adam's DTOM tattoos

New rattlesnake tattoos

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

It’s been a long time since I did a tattoo update here and the submissions have been piling up. Check out these hardcore liberty-lovers who put the Don’t Tread on Me rattlesnake on their bodies.

Stephen's Molon Lave tattoo


Stephen says he got this incredible tattoo on his honeymoon. Seriously. And it’s first tattoo.

That’s a hardcore liberty-lover.

He writes, “I’ve never had a tattoo, but I knew that I wanted one, and I didn’t want one that everyone else had … so, with the Gadsden imagery, I had an artist draw up a rattler with an M4, and since I’m a first generation American of Greek ancestry, decided to go with the Greek lettering above. The Molon Lave means ‘come and take it.’”



Mitchell, now serving in the US Army, got this colorful cobra after seeing this website.

“I think ‘Dont Tread on Me’ represents what this country was founded on and how all countries should be: if you respect us we will respect you, but if you don’t, it is cause for action.”

Here’s a new one! Check out the foot of Alexandra O. from Baton Rouge …


The foot of Alexandra.

Alexandra writes, “My sister-in-law is a tattoo artist and has been begging to do some ink on me. I’ve always turned her down because I couldn’t think of anything I would want on me for life. I am a staunch libertarian and a firm believer in everyone’s right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. I saw a ‘don’t tread on me’ t-shirt and it just hit me. Don’t Tread on Me is something that will always have serious importance in my life, whether it applies to my individual life or my political belief system.”

That rocks.

Rich B. from North Jersey just had this incredible beauty, his first tattoo, done at Immortal Ink by Chris A.

“I am a passionate libertarian who believes in a limited and restrained government. Obviously it’s been a very long time since we have had a government like that.”

“I believe this government is at the size where many of our liberties now lay at risk, and I’ll be dammed if the gov thinks liberty loving people like myself are just going to roll over.”



Isn’t that snake intense?

Richard's tattoo


Richard Garon is the state coordinator for the “Sons of Liberty” in New Hampshire.

“I can think of no greater symbol to show my open disdain for the direction these tyrants in Washington DC are taking us.”

“This beauty was done by Rocking Rick at his we’ll known ‘Tattoo Shack’ in Hooksett, NH. A great friend of liberty’s who encourages others in our ‘Live Free or Die’ state to show their support for the renewed symbol of the Resistance and to forever to show where their allegiance lies as I did.”

Andy from Florida is the proud owner of an interesting variation of a DTOM tattoo.

Andy's Don't Tread on Me tattoo


“You can say I am a patriot and feel that this image helps remind other Americans about the founding fathers’ intentions.”

Andy likes that people ask about it, and that gives him “a chance to tell the gadsden flag history to them.”

Scott, a special education teacher in Oklahoma City, has been wanting his “Don’t Tread on Me” tattoo for a while but was waiting for his favorite tattoo artist (Josh Reynolds) to become available. Scott says he put it on his calf “where I wear it proudly so everyone knows where I stand.”

“I believe the founding fathers had the right idea and gave us a plan on how to live free with liberty in this great nation. God bless the constitution and the United States of America.”

Brandon from La Vergne, Tennessee, had his tattoo done by a friend, Josh at Absolute Ink in Murfreesboro (who promises to add color sometime soon). To Brandon, “it stands for my willingness to fight for my freedom should the need so arise.”

Scott's Don't Tread on Me tattooBrandon's tattoo

Scott's calf on the left. Brandon's arm on the right.

Jason from Ohio is “super stoked” with his new tattoo. “I think it’s important for people to speak up, especially now with our current government spending away our future on handouts and bailouts and entitlements. I believe our country was built on the backs of people who worked hard for what they had and if they didn’t have something they didn’t place blame on our government and expect them to provide it. It seems Obama does not realize the simple fact that without failures, success is meaningless.”

Jason's Liberty or Death tattoo


John DeCillo got his tattoo from Bob Gray at Body by Design in Crestwood, Illinois. John is a Vietnam vet who wanted to, “physically show my support for the patriots banding together to stop this runaway train heading for total socialism.”

John's Don't Tread on Me tattoo


Daniel from Galesburg, Illinois, is a musician who is “anxious to wear my politics on my sleeve.” (I love that.) He says, “This is my tribute to the Founders, whose work I will study till my last breath, and to all the brave men and women who served, and died, to make this country great.” The tattoo was done by Hawk’s Tattoo in Galesburg.



Thomas Reid from Sanford, Florida, and his wife “were inspired by recent events to get matching ‘Gadsden Tats’.”

Thomas's wife

Thomas's wife

Nikki from Michigan writes, “I took some inspiration from your site and from current and past events; to remember the fabric of liberty upon which we are woven. This tattoo represents my dedication to the principles of freedom and liberty that our country was founded upon. I wear it proudly to signify those principles under which I will live as long as I breathe.”



Nikki says she loves this website. And we love Nikki.

Branded with Don’t Tread on Me tattoos

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

It’s Tattoo Tuesday. On a Saturday.

I love it when people send me their Don’t Tread on Me rattlesnake tattoos. And I know you love to see them. (Or else you’d stop reading right here. It’s a simple system.) Here are the latest.

Jay's Gadsden tattoo


Jay sent me a picture of his tattoo the day he got it, July 25.

He wrote, “I am in the National Guard and after I got out of my initial entry training I decided I wanted a tattoo. To me the Gadsden Flag represents what our founding fathers meant for this country and The Constitution which I swore to protect against all enemies both foreign and domestic. (’This we’ll defend’ is the Army motto.) Those beliefs along with the direction in which I feel our nation is heading made me decide to show whose side I am on.”

Jay, we’re on your side.

Peter's shiny new Gadsden flag tattoo


Here’s another shiny new one. Peter from Houston, Texas, says he “got this tat on 7/25/09 at Magic Needle in Humble, TX.” Coincidentally, that’s the same day as Jay above.

“For the past 16 years I have worked in the oilfield industry, environmental cleanup specifically, so I work hard for the money that the government takes from me every two weeks. After the outcome of the last presidential election and seeing the direction that this government is going in is of great concern to me. The Gadsden flag represents to me standing up for what you believe in, taking pride in our nation, keeping big government in check, and protecting our individual rights as Americans.”

Well said, huh? I love this line: “I work hard for the money that the government takes from me every two weeks.”

Adam and his friend are joining

Adam and his friend are joining

The story behind this duo is seriously implausible. Maybe somebody out there knows Adam and can vouch for him. But whether or not any of the following is embellished for dramatic effect, it’s still fun and the tattoos are super cool.

Adam F. in NY sent me a picture with just his arm.

“I got it because I found your website, and never knew that the Join or Die snake was the starting point for the Gadsden flag, and sadly, never knew that the American Revolution used snakes instead of stars and stripes. I was just amazed by it all, and thought Franklin’s essays about its symbolism was the cure for everything wrong with America’s role in the world.”

Then he includes a second picture, with two arms.

“The other arm is my friend Sasha, who I didn’t know had the same tattoo until I got it.”

Bill S.'s Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Bill S.

Bill S. is “mad as hell with the direction our country seems to be going and I wanted a way to be easily identified so I can meet other like minded people. May God Bless America!”

I guess the idea of being easily identified as a potential “extremist” by the powers-that-be doesn’t scare him. Bravo.

Bill's Don't Tread on Me tattoo

Bill from Mass.

Bill from Massachusetts is a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division and a “pissed off American.” :-)

“This is my daily reminder to not let the extreme left socialist government destroy this country. Love your web site and heading to Washington 12 SEP 2009 for the National Tea Party Day.”

Tens of thousands of other freedom-loving Americans will be meeting him there.

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