I bought it about two years ago for my soon-to-be-6-year-old niece to hang on her backyard playset when she was going through a short-lived pirate phase (before Captain Hook lost out to Tinker Bell).
This childlike rendition of Christopher Gadsden’s iconic yellow banner (first flown by the Continental Marines) was part of my ongoing, unofficial effort to subtly introduce her to the now verboten aspects of our once-treasured culture.
For me, it carries some personal resonance, both symbolic and sentimental. My formative teen years were spent in and around Culpeper, Virginia, where a famous variation of Gadsden’s flag was flown by the Culpeper Minutemen during the Revolutionary War.
In fact, my first foray into conservative journalism was writing the “Culpeper Column” for my high school newspaper.
Alas, “No Step on Snek” never proved a good fit for my niece’s playset. But with my recent job change, it seemed as good a time as any for me to reclaim it.
Already, I had brought in decorative artifacts including a statuette from Georgia’s Stone Mountain, a Gina Carano figurine and a “Don’t Blame Me I Voted for Trump” yard sign that I picked up while passing through South Carolina’s “Trumpville” (which is worth its own column another time).
Even so, with the subject of vigilantism (or self-defense) now being hotly debated in the face of leftist efforts to “reform” criminal justice by eliminating it entirely, it’s worth noting that the Gadsden flag is more than your typical right-wing ephemera.
The recent trial of Kyle Rittenhouse brought the debate to the forefront—and to a lesser degree, the arguments made in the Ahmaud Arbery murder case and last week’s Waukesha parade massacre added new layers of complexity to it.
It cuts to the very core of what separates American democracy from other nations—places in which self-governance is doomed to fail due to the failures of those doing the self-governing.
A RIGHT … AND A DUTY
I would contend, in fact, that self-defense is not only a right guaranteed to Americans by the Second Amendment, but it is a duty shared by all Americans when systems of law and order break down under the weight of corruption, as ours have.
The founding fathers were well aware of this possibility. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” said Thomas Jefferson. “It is it’s natural manure.”
Needless to say, the very tyrants whom patriots like Jefferson imperiled with their notions of liberty and justice for all have now flipped the script, largely using the canard of “systemic racism” to reinstate a more egalitarian brand of slavery for the masses—one that makes no account of race but still demands absolute obedience, whether voluntary or by force.
To do so, the powerful elite overlords have persuaded the basest elements of society that they might somehow form a strategic alliance against middle America.
Those whose own circumstances and poor life choices have left them hopelessly oppressed may never be able to transcend their lot, but at least they can exact vengeance on the rung directly above for all those years of oppression.
And like the parade of mammies and uncles, Judases and Sonderkommandos who came before—all lending validity to the very system set on destroying them in return for mere baubles—if they continue to act blindly as pawns and foot soldiers of the One Percent, they will be allowed, in return, to loot and riot to their hearts’ content.
Unless, of course, the risk of doing so is greater than the reward.
THE SNAKE IS AWAKE
As mystifying as it is that roughly four out of 10 people supposedly still approve of President Joe Biden’s job performance, many are now waking up to the fact that the radical Left is actively waging an attack on America from within.
Anyone who has something vested in the antiquated concepts enumerated by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights now potentially stands on the “wrong side” of history, according to left-wing academics and the news media.
But it was precisely this type of scenario that makes Gadsden’s simple design so powerfully emblematic.
To a child, the flag’s symbolism may seem perplexing at first, given the negative associations we have with snakes.
However, that healthy fear and respect of snakes has evolved in humans over time, lending a sort of harmonic balance between the two species.
Most of the time, a mere warning will suffice—but every now and then, the snake must lash out in its own defense.
Our justice system works the same way.
Most of the time, historically speaking, our system of laws has been an effective deterrent for crime, just as the sheer size, dexerity and intelligence of the human race is a good reason for most snakes to want to keep their distance.
The problem, though, is when humans encroach on the snakes’ habitat—or when the system of laws stops working to preserve the basic rights of law-abiding people and instead becomes weaponized against them.
When the system fails, the delicate balance breaks down, the tree of liberty must be refreshed.
Contrary to what professional race-hustlers on CNN and MSNBC may claim, this right/duty is not exclusive to the white male.
Kyle Rittenhouse’s right to self-defense was the same as Ahmaud Arbery’s right to self-defense was the same as Jackson Sparks‘ right to self-defense. All law-abiding citizens are equally entitled to freedom from tyranny and mob rule.
But more than that, what truly roiled the Left was the idea that other freedom-loving Americans might soon rise up collectively to defend the rights of others.
“I mean, it’s just gonna have serious repurcussions in my opinion,” the blackface-wearing cohost continued. “I mean, we can talk the legality of it and everything else, but to me, it’s like, I can’t go and protest now without worrying that some nutcase is gonna have a gun, cross the state line and come and shoot me. That’s the problem.”
The holes in Behar’s argument are self-evident given the actual circumstances of the Kenosha riots.
It is unclear whether she actually followed the trial, in which the arguments were laid out plainly debunking many of her specious claims. Speculation is now swirling that she and co-host Whoopi Goldberg (who said, despite the not-guilty verdict, that Rittenhouse was a “murderer”) may be among those on the short-list for defamation lawsuits.
The fact of the matter is that Rittenhouse’s actions should have had a chilling effect—not on legally protected political speech or peaceful demonstrations, but on lawless behavior.
But in reality, they did not.
Were Behar being intellectually honest with herself or anyone else, she would acknowledge that, under leftist rule, legally sanctioned criminality has only gotten worse.
Although many facts in the Waukesha case remain to be revealed, there is every reason to believe that its six innocent victims—Sparks among them—were casualties of this same hateful mindset, egged on by the rhetoric of corrupt leftist media, the radicalized Democrat party and, quite possibly, bankrolled by billionaire oligarchs who are callously pursuing America’s destruction.
E PLURIBUS UNUM
It is not enough that there be one Kyle Rittenhouse standing up to defend America—we must all have the courage to uphold our system of laws in the absence of honest leadership.
I made a similar case in the aftermath of Jan. 6, which obviously was never intended to be an actual insurrection on any level since it is the unconditional right of every American to petition the government for redress of grievances and no grievance is greater than that of a stolen election.
The Jan. 6 uprising has been condemned by some weak-kneed conservatives who still seek to maintain their standing within the Establishment. But it was both appropriate and necessary at the time—and it did, to some end, achieve its purpose of not allowing the abuses of the 2020 fraudulency to go unanswered.
Did the Left lash out in response? Well, of course it did.
However, its efforts to frame freedom-loving Americans as domestic terrorists are failing, and its day of political reckoning will come in due time.
Till then, our only recourse is to keep its authoritariansm in check by refusing to allow ourselves to be tread on.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
It seems fitting to me that the flag hanging in my office is a crayon-inspired reduction of Gadsden’s original flag, which perfectly expresses the current state of the country on many levels.
Having so long taken freedom and prosperity for granted, many citizens no longer grasp the conditions needed for our core values to thrive, nor the obligations we all share as part of our social compact to maintain them.
Instead, they maintain only a vague, elementary-level understanding of our history and civic duty as cartoon caricatures of themselves—and even that is now under assault at the hands of critical-race revisionists who have infiltrated the education system.
Yet, this kid-friendly flag also underscores the need for education and serves as a reminder that America’s preservation rests in the hands of instilling these values in future generations.
As luck would have it, while ruminating on this conundrum of how to instill the values of self-defense as a civic duty, I happened upon a Twitter post promoting the new kids book by former NRA spokeperson Dana Loesch—which happens to deal with precisely this topic.
Self-defense is NOT a crime.
But the Corporate Media & Radical Left are teaching your kids that it should be.
Here are the facts: Guns don’t kill people; criminals do.
— BRAVE Books (@BraveBooksUS) November 29, 2021
Since I took my niece’s “Snek” flag, I guess this will be a nice replacement.