The Gadsden flag is one of at least three kinds of flags created by independence-minded colonists in the run-up to the Revolutionary War, according to the writer and historian Marc Leepson, the author of "Flag: An American Biography." Liberty flags featured that word on a variety of backdrops; the Pine Tree flag floated the slogan "An Appeal To Heaven" over a depiction of a pine tree. Neither endured like the design of Christopher Gadsden, a Charleston-born brigadier general in the Continental Army. His was by far the coolest, with its menacing rattler and provocative slogan. ? Later, in what may be America?s first-ever political cartoon, [Benjamin] Franklin published the famous "Join or Die" image, which depicts the American colonies as segments of a snake. Among other borrowers, Paul Revere put the snake in a seventeen-seventies newspaper nameplate. Gadsden?s venomous remix, for a flag used by Continental sailors, depicted the reassembled rattler as a righteous threat to trampling imperialism. "The origins of 'Don?t Tread On Me,?? Leepson summarizes, "were completely, one hundred percent anti-British, and pro-revolution." Indeed, that E.E.O.C. directive agrees, "It is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context.?