The FBI Hunt For Militia Violent Extremists
FBI identifies these images as signs of militia violent extremism- yes, including the Constitution.
The Gadsden Flag is a bright yellow flag with an image of a rattlesnake on it. Under the snake are the words “Don’t Tread On Me.” It originated during the American Revolution. Now, however, it apparently marks you as a dangerous extremist according to the federal government.
In 1775 at the time of the Revolution, a rattlesnake with thirteen rattles on its tail became a common symbol of the thirteen colonies rebelling against Great Britain. The image was found on badges, flags, and buttons. It symbolized the resolve of the American patriots to fight back against tyranny.
Most of the early fighting during the Revolution occurred near Boston, Massachusetts. At one point in that fighting, several ships in the fledgling Continental Navy were directed to seize British ships in Boston’s harbor filled with desperately needed weapons and munitions. On the American ships were members of the brand new Continental Marine Corps just formed in Philadelphia. The drums of the drummers in this Marine detachment were emblazoned with the image of the yellow Gadsden flag. The flag went on to become the unofficial first flag of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
In December of 1775, “An Anonymous Guesser” wrote a letter to the Pennsylvania Journal. That letter – believed to have been written by Benjamin Franklin – proposed that the Gadsden flag become the official flag of the new American armed forces. “As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America."
The reasons provided by the anonymous writer were as follows:
The rattlesnake is only found in North America.
The creature has “sharp eyes” and "may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.”
The snake isn’t known for unprovoked attacks. However, once it does attack, it doesn’t stop until it wins.
What’s more, even before attacking, the rattlesnake gives ample warning in the form of its rattle.
The designer of the Gadsden flag was Christopher Gadsden. He founded the South Carolina chapter of the Sons of Liberty. He was a delegate to both the First and Second Continental Congresses and served as an officer in the Revolutionary War. He spent 42 weeks in a British prison an experience that permanently wrecked his health.
The Gadsden flag today is a common symbol at patriotic rallies across the nation where it symbolizes a commitment to liberty and democracy and a willingness to fight and die to defend them. Those sentiments were once taught in our schools and honored in our nation. They now, apparently, suggest dangerous extremism and an unwillingness to obey.
The FBI has published an internal document for use by law enforcement called the “Domestic Terrorism Symbols Guide.”This guide includes pictures of flags and symbols used by what the FBI now calls Militia Violent Extremists (MVEs). One of the flags pictured is the Gadsden flag. Also pictured is the so-called Betsy Ross flag you probably saw in your school textbooks. That would be the flag which has the stars in the blue union arranged in a circle.
It should be noted that “2A” is also a sign of extremism, because “MVEs justify their existence with the Second Amendment, due to the mention of a ‘well regulated Militia,’ as well as the right to bear arms.”
Other images the FBI now considers to be signs you are a threat to the republic include: the Alamo flag bearing the words “Come and Take It,” the Tree of Liberty, images of a Minuteman, and Spartan helmets. I have one of those helmets - a gift from a family member - sitting on a shelf in my office from which I regularly do video interviews, so presumably, I can now expect a knock at my door early one morning.
Quotes from the Founding Fathers are also suspect and also, shockingly, the text of the Constitution as well. Reminding others of the supreme law of the land is now subversive.
All of this might almost be funny if it were not so serious. The fact that some group of analysts cut off from reality sits in the bowels of the Department of Justice and churns out ludicrous publications is one thing. But, we now live in a world where people are arrested and imprisoned simply because they refuse to obey the edicts of an increasingly dictatorial government.
The white-hot, molten core of the American dream has always been the unwillingness of Americans to submit to tyranny. Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees has not been just a dramatic throwaway line. Generations of Americans have lived by it, and quite a few have given their lives to defend individual liberty and the Constitution.
That symbols of this core belief in freedom are now regarded as dangerous and subversive says everything about where we stand as a nation and the real agenda of this administration. Radical extremists with a dedication to totalitarian principles are running the nation.
The FBI is searching for signs of extremism. Ironically, it is we have found them, not in the small towns, farms, and neighborhoods of America but in Washington, DC itself.