Feds Warn Gadsden Flag = Racial Harrassment
In an announcement that is sure to upset conservatives and libertarians everywhere, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that wearing the “Don’t Tread On Me” or Gadsden flag to work might be a case of racial harassment.
The historic flag, which features those words under a rattlesnake on a yellow banner, is displayed by many conservatives to indicate opposition to government overreach.
A complaint was filed by a black employee of a business in 2014 against a fellow employee wearing a “Don’t Tread on Me” cap to work. The complainant did not mention that his fellow employee had said anything racist against him, simply that he had been wearing the cap. The complaint said the flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”
According to a piece by law professor Eugene Volokh in The Washington Post, the EEOC stated: “It is clear that the Gadsden flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. … However, whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it has also been since sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.”
The commission concluded: “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.”
The EEOC cited a 2014 Las Vegas shooting in which white supremacists used the flag to drape the bodies of two murdered police officers.
According to Gadsden.info, the designer of the flag, Christopher Gadsden “was an American patriot if ever there was one. He led Sons of Liberty in South Carolina starting in 1765, and was later made a colonel in the Continental Army. In 1775 he was in Philadelphia representing his home state in the Continental Congress. He was also one of three members of the Marine Committee who decided to outfit and man the Alfred and its sister ships.”