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Gadsden FlagDon't Tread on Me

The Gadsden Flag

Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Tread on Me tattoos’

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.

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

Don’t Tread on Me tattoos

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I’ve been inviting people to e-mail their “Don’t Tread on Me” tattoos to me for a couple years now. Here’s the complete collection, which is, I must say, pretty damn awesome.

For the past two months I’ve been remiss in posting new tattoos and the submissions have been piling up. Here they are …

Matt's rattlesnake tattoo


Matt from Ohio writes, “I finally picked the perfect image to represent the American spirit. ‘Don’t Tread on Me!’ That sums it up! We as the American people can no longer sit by and let our freedoms vanish! We must stand up and support the rights we have before they are gone forever! Now is the time! Support your beliefs! Remember that we are a free people that control the government! They work for us! They are our employees! We pay their huge income! We tell them what WE want! Remember that! Let’s take our country back!”

DTOM rattlesnake tattoo


Philip is a military veteran. He did two years in the US Army and three and a half in the Air Force. He says, “I have always loved the Rattlesnake symbol and the don’t tread on me warning. I feel like it symbolizes the true spirit of America.”

Turner's Don't Tread on Me tattoo


Roger Turner from Ohio just got his first tattoo at the age of 47. He was inspired by the book Enemies Foreign and Domestic. He writes, “I always liked the Gadsden flag and after I read the book and [thought about] the way our country is headed, I figured why not. The Gadsden flag says it all.”

Mark's rattlesnake tattoo


Mark Harnois of Detroit had his tattoo done at the 2009 Chicago Tattoo Convention. It was done by Jason, the artist-owner of Trigger Happy Tattoo in Dubuque, IA. The scripts is still to go. Mark is considering whether to use the New Hampshire state motto “Live Free or Die” or “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Jeremy's tattooAndrew's tattoo

On the left: Jeremy. On the right: Andrew.

College student Jeremy Shepherd got this tattoo on his forearm. To him, “It’s a symbol of my American heritage, and it’s also a symbol to remind us to be willing to defend our freedom.”

Andrew Cairns says he “tried to incorporate the snake” into his bad ass inside-arm Don’t Tread on Me tattoo but couldn’t come up with a good idea. No matter. I think it rocks.Andrew writes, “I’m 25 years old and I’m currently serving the active duty US Air Force. I’m stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. The tattoo is a nod to the history of the country that I’m serving, but is also the title of one of my favorite 311 songs (I’m a huge fan of the band). My favorite lyric from the song: ‘nothing’s come easily, so don’t you tread on me, ’cause I will knock you down.’ I’m also a native of the city of Philadelphia, where most say the motto originated. I hope you like the design and I’d love to see it on your site some day.”

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