In 1775, Charles Gadsden, a member of the South Carolina Congress, the Continental Congress, and the Marine Committee commissioned to help form the first United States Navy, presented Commodore Esek Hopkins with a special ensign for his flagship.
As was described by the South Carolina Congress—which also received a copy of the flag—it was "being a yellow field, with a lively representation of a rattlesnake in the middle in the attitude of going to strike and these words underneath, 'Don't tread on me.'" Today, we know this flag simply as "The Gadsden Flag."
During the Revolutionary War, it was one of two "motto flags" used by American Marines. Today, it's become a symbol of libertarians and members of the tea party movement.
But apparently to some, it is a symbol of racism.
According to a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one worker's wearing of a hat that depicts the Gadsden Flag was considered "racially offensive" because Christopher Gadsden owned slaves. The complainant in that case maintained the Gadsden Flag was a "historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party."
The EEOC, according to The Washington Post, found:
After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, guns rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.
But, the EEOC also found two instances—only two—in the past two years where the Gadsden Flag was "interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts." So, it wanted to investigate the meaning behind why the co-worker was wearing the hat with the Gadsden Flag before deciding whether or not it conveyed racism:
In light of the ambiguity in the current meaning of this symbol, we find that Complainant's claim must be investigated to determine the specific context in which C1 displayed the symbol in the workplace. In so finding, we are not prejudging the merits of Complainant's complaint. Instead, we are precluding a procedural dismissal that would deprive us of evidence that would illuminate the meaning conveyed by C1's display of the symbol.
The EEOC is a taxpayer funded entity of the federal government, tasked with, among other things, deciding the outcome of "hostile work environment" harassment claims brought against employers. In doing so, it applies the same legal rules that courts apply in civil litigation.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Five ways to deepen your relationship with God, increase your faith and save money!
- Deepen Your Relationship with God with a FREE eCourse: Click Here to view all of our free e-Courses. Favorite topics include Fear, Forgiveness, Holy Spirit, Supernatural, and How to Hear God.
- Super Discounts and Close-Out Specials: Click Here to view all our bundles and close-out specials and save up to 86%! Prayer, Holy Spirit, Anointing, the Supernatural and more.
- God Wants to Anoint Women Now: Rise up and enter the anointing of Deborah, Anna, Esther, Ruth and Hannah. You were called to go higher. Click Here to learn more.
- Change Your Atmosphere and Circumstances Through Prayer! John Eckhardt's prayer bundle gives you six powerful books to help you pray and change any situation. Click Here.
- HUGE Bible Sale!: Click Here to save up to 50% off a great selection of Bibles. Plus, get a free gift with each order!
Attention Pastors and Leaders: Leadership training and development are crucial for success. Enroll in a FREE 1-hour leadership mini-course by Dr. Mark Rutland. View Details