Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who apparently angers the left because of drinking coffee in the morning, set off another firestorm with a simple tweet of the Gadsden flag. The potential 2024 GOP presidential nominee noted that it is a newly available Florida license plate.
His tweet declared the “free state of Florida” has a new license tag that when ordered will help fund the Florida Veterans Foundation. He also quipped that it “sends a clear message” to drivers from other states.
He was immediately derided by NPR for “reopening the debate” over the flag.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said a new Florida license plate featuring the Revolutionary War-era Gadsden flag sends a "clear message to out-of-state cars." Critics say it symbolizes a dangerous far-right extremist ideology.https://t.co/7rU6zTwj9p
— NPR (@NPR) August 11, 2022
Despite its roots in the Revolutionary War that go straight back to Benjamin Franklin, NPR saw fit to label it as a tool of “far-right extremist ideology.” The flag’s history, however, suggests something far different.
In 1775, South Carolina politician Christopher Gadsden put the threatening rattlesnake on a flag with the words “Don’t Tread on Me.” It became a Revolutionary War emblem and remained a historical relic for two centuries.
In the 1970s, it was taken up by some Libertarians as symbolic of their movement for smaller government and individual rights. The Tea Party took it as a banner in 2010 as part of its continuation of the libertarian themes of earlier political activists.
NPR quoted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law as saying the government is “perfectly entitled” to take stands that have become “newly controversial.” He mentioned the “very small group of people” who use it for different purposes.
Fair enough. But then it’s Rachel Carroll Rivas of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s turn. She claims that Florida cannot say it has “a lack of knowledge” of what the flag and image represent to “most of the public.” She tied the flag to the Jan. 6 Capitol protests and other events since.
The American public is rapidly tiring of radical leftists’ efforts to control everything from historic symbols to basic language. When a Revolutionary War icon is suddenly akin to hate speech and mothers can no longer be called mothers, the foolishness is clear to nearly everyone.