With Texas and Virginia set to receive license plates patterned after the Gadsden Flag, in “honor” of the tea party, it’s important to remember: despite the tea parties’ attempt to co-opt this revolutionary icon, the Gadsden Flag is bigger than their petty movement, and stands for something far more important.
In our shared history, we have fought and defeated true tyrants, who killed our countrymen, stole our property, and held us back for the exclusive profit of a far-flung imperial power. We’ve ended genocide, and toppled dictators with some regularity.
Nothing that we experience in this country today approximates that level of oppression. Modest tax increases, imposed on an isolated portion of society by a legitimately elected government, bear no resemblance to any of the evils we’ve conquered to get to where we are, and when tea party “patriots” suggest to the contrary, they insult our history and everyone who strove to make it what it is. The Gadsden Flag honors our commitment to the liberty of all; not the pocketbooks of some.
This Veteran’s Day, remember that there are real enemies out there; that our friends and family members have (and continue to) put themselves in danger to hold them at bay; and that our fellow citizens and our elected government do not number among those enemies. Don’t let isolated radicals diminish our history.