Sunday, 5 July 2009

Belated 4th July greetings...


By tradition going all the way back to - well - last year, the rabbit sends 4th July greetings to his American readers. By tradition, the greetings are a day late. Last year I posted Brad Neely's Washington and Bruce's Darlington County -http://ohdearohdearishallbelate.blogspot.com/2008/07/4th-july.html - This year a story - American readers will have to bear me if this is well trodden ground for them - the story is hardly known over here. The snake - rattlesnake to be accurate - thing begins with Benjamin Franklin and a political cartoon made as a woodcut during the French and Indian war featuring a snake chopped into eight bits. The snake represented eight colonies with New England as the head and South Carolina as the tip of the tail in order as per the east coast. the slogan was 'join (later unite) or die'.

The snake began to become a symbol for the colonies as independence grew closer. The United States navy was established in 1775 and set about recruiting Marines to help intercept British ships bringing military supplies. The first Marines (from Philadelphia) they carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles and the motto 'don't tread on me'. The flag above is called the Gadsden Flag after a Colonel Gadsden of South Carolina who presented the yellow rattlesnake flag to the Commander of the US Navy and to the South Carolina Legislature. The flag is still sort of in use and associated with the US Marines. It is also associated sometimes with right wing extremism, which is a pity as it is a fun flag and a fun story.

Okay, here are the elderly gents with Uncle John's Band, including the lines...

'Goddamn, well I declare, have you seen the like? Their walls are built of cannonballs, their motto is don't tread on me...'



Ending on a distinctly non-American topic, the rabbit is counting the days down to resumption of the greatest - as well as one of the most historic - sporting conflicts in the entire history of everything. Come on you Aussie bastards - BRING IT ONNNNN!!!!!!

7 comments:

savannah said...

mambo #5? i love it, in fact i was humming this tune just yesterday! now, i have no clue about cricket! xoxo

(have you seen the series about john adams?)

Law Minx said...

My Dear Bunny,

Since I plainly lack your INTERNATIONAL elan, sophistication, and, indeed ,READERSHIP, may I ask whether or not the 4th of July is an even BETTER day than CANADA Day?!
Do you really think England can hand the Aussies a Right Proper Stuffing?!

mikeb302000 said...

Thanks for the 4th of July wishes and the history of those snake flags. Some of the commenters on my blog display those flags on their own blogs. It seems the pro-gun community is into them.

B.E. Earl said...

Ben Franklin was a fascinating character, wasn't he?

white rabbit said...

Savannah - Explanations of cricket available on request! Yes, I did see the John Adams series. Interestingly, uniquely among the founding fathers he hated slavery and his farm was staffed by free men. He died with $100,000 in the bank. Jefferson, the slave owning southern gentleman, died $100,000 in debt.

Mike - I'm not surprised your commenters adopt this flag - as I said, it seems to have been adopted by the Ameerican far right, which is a pity...

Earl - He sure was. Didn't he invent electricity?

;)

white rabbit said...

Minx - Sorry - 4th July may possiblybe even better than Canada Day :-O

And yes, we can stuff the Aussies :D

unique_stephen said...

This Aussie bastard is putting the beer in fridge now, ready for it