Timber Rattler
Since Nov 2, 2011

view home page, enter name:
Conservapedia: Rattlesnake (American symbol)

The Rattlesnake, a reptile found only in the Americas, was the earliest use of an animal to symbolize the early colonies prior to the creation of the United States. First appearing in newspaper prints with the motto "Join or Die," by the time of the American Revolution the rattlesnake was frequently used in conjunction with the motto "Don't Tread on Me," becoming a common symbol for America, its independent spirit, and its resistance to tyranny.

"I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, "Don't tread on me." As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America; and as I have nothing to do with public affairs, and as my time is perfectly my own, in order to divert an idle hour, I sat down to guess what could have been intended by this uncommon device — I took care, however, to consult on this occasion a person who is acquainted with heraldry, from whom I learned, that it is a rule among the learned of that science "That the worthy properties of the animal, in the crest-born, shall be considered," and, "That the base ones cannot have been intended;" he likewise informed me that the ancients considered the serpent as an emblem of wisdom, and in a certain attitude of endless duration both which circumstances I suppose may have been had in view. Having gained this intelligence, and recollecting that countries are sometimes represented by animals peculiar to them, it occurred to me that the Rattle-Snake is found in no other quarter of the world besides America, and may therefore have been chosen, on that account, to represent her."

Benjamin Franklin, writing as "The American Guesser" in the Pennsylvania Journal, December 27, 1775