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The following tattoo belongs to Jessie James Marker from Saginaw, Michigan.
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:
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 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 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 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 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:
Nice tat, Cody.
Sean M. from West Des Moines, Iowa, got his first tattoo a few weeks ago:
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:
“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-->interesting.com. 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.]]>
He says he saw a “similar image once but that one was too crude (in color, detail and resolution) and certainly not fit for print and most important: it didn’t had all the stars visible, so I felt that I had to rework the image in order to make all stars visible and use the right colors of the Confederate battle flag.”
The above has been reduced in size. Here is a larger version (900 pixels wide), a super-sized version (6000 pixels wide) suitable for printing, and an SVG vector image file for graphic designers who want to make adjustments.
Edwin is generously offering the image to anyone, for any use.]]>
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.”
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.”
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. [OddAngel.com] She’s also a sword swallower, and a carney. She is pure awesome.”
“She is pure awesome.” I love that.
Andy Lewis from St. Louis, Missouri, got this tattoo on his left underarm at Iron Age 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 C. is in the US Air Force. He got this awesome tattoo because, he says, “I love God, guns, and my country.”
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 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 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 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.]]>
As you can see, these trucks are in San Francisco! It’s SFFD Staion 16 in the Marina District. Any bets on how long it takes for someone to complain?]]>
As the seller describes it: “Poster shows burly colonial (printed in black and white) holding ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag. Red legend reads ‘Victory Ours on King’s Mountain - South Carolina - October 7, 1780.’ Poster is bordered by the names of the thirteen colonies in blue letters. … Copyright 1975-Leonard Everett Fisher and published by Franklin Watts Inc.”
Auction ends January 30.]]>
As mentioned in November of last year, Virginia’s congress is considering a Gadsden license plate. Now Texas is considering it too. All this has driven Jim Simpson of BigGovernment.com to ask, “Gadsden Flag License Plates: A Nationwide Movement?“.]]>
This is the Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda. Taking a closer look at the corner:
Here’s a sharp photo someone else took of the Don’t Tread on Me frieze.
Is that neat, or what?
Robert and I are intrigued and want to learn more. I’ve never seen this combination of symbols before. Was it some flourish of the architect? Did the designer make it up, or reproduce it from somewhere?
The Chicago Cultural Center was opened in 1893. It was originally a dual-purpose building: a Chicago public library, and a museum/meeting hall for the Grand Army of the Republic veterans association.
Robert found a booklet entitled “The People’s Palace: The Story of the Chicago Cultural Center” which briefly mentions the rotunda:
“At the top of the stairway is the 45-foot by 50-foot Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Rotunda. The ceiling is embossed with plaster carvings of swords, shields, helmets, and flags. This ornamental heraldry serves to remind viewers of the loss that comes with war.”
That’s not much, and sounds a little bit like politically-correct pap to me. How does that frieze symbolize the loss that comes with war?
I find it interesting that these symbols aren’t from the Civil War. They’re from the American Revolution: the Liberty Cap, the Liberty Tree, and our Don’t Tread on Me snakes. To the degree that DTOM symbols were used in the Civil War, it’s my understanding that they were used by the South, not the North. This dome and hall were funded and used by the GAR, i.e. Union veterans.
Does anyone have insights?]]>
The Tea Party group “912 Richmond Va” is sponsoring a custom license plate for Virginia with the Gadsden flag. Is this awesome, or what? I love it.
The bill to create the Don’t Tread on Me plate still needs to be passed by the legislature and be signed into law by the governor, and 350 Virginia residents need to pre-order to plate. I really wish I could be one of them. I’d send in the paperwork today.
Click to 912 Richmond Va for all the details. Thanks to Deborah Griffin for pointing this out to us.]]>
Click over to DONATE YOUR PROFILE PIC TO “DON’T TREAD ON ME” FLAG NOV 1 & 2!.]]>
Andrew write, “I was battalion recovery NCO for the 122nd Combat Engineer Battalion of the South Carolina National Guard, attached to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”]]>