Fans of the Gadsden Flag may soon be able to display its familiar rattlesnake and “Don’t Tread on Me” message every time they pull out of the driveway.At least three states — Virginia, Nevada and Texas — are weighing or have already approved proposals to add “Don’t Tread on Me” specialty license plates to their state rosters.
The Gadsden Flag, originally used by the U.S. Marine Corps during the American Revolution, was meant to represent the 13 original colonies and their battle for independence from the British monarchy. It has recently been adopted by some Tea Party groups as a message against big government.
Several supporters of the symbol say they will seek to have Gadsden plates available in other states throughout the country.But critics say the flag’s “Don’t Tread on Me” message is political in nature, and has no place on any government-issued license plate.In Texas, the first state to propose and approve the plates, officials said they didn’t have politics in mind, but simply getting more people interested in displaying specialty plates, which bring the state more money then regular plates.
“The Gadsden ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag is a significant one to American and Texas history, and our market research, both formal and informal, shows that there’s a lot of interest in Texas in state history,” said Kim Miller Drummond, spokeswoman for Myplates.com, the company contracted by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to design, market and sell new specialty license plates in the state.
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