Join, or Die

The original rattlesnake flag was a plea for unity during the French and Indian Wars. Ben Franklin adapted the image of a rattler severed into segments, each representing a colony or group of colonies — the head labeled “N.E.” for New England. Rightly so, as this is where the Sons of Liberty first gathered in the mid 1770s. They joined with the like-minded gentlemen from Virginia, and the rest is, as they say, history.

The rattlesnake has ever since been a symbol of our strongest desires. For liberty; to be left alone by foreign princes and potentates. To be respected by our citizens. Like the rattler, we were peaceful until disturbed. Like the rattler, once disturbed, we could be deadly.

Fast forward a couple of centuries. We seem to have become a nation of lap dogs. Small, wee dogs, afraid of our shadow. So afraid of giving offense when there is none, that we allow the most heinous kinds of insults to our nation go unremarked and unpunished. Such cowardly dogs as to be told that it is our obligation to hate ourselves, to consider our great nation as a scourge upon the planet.

Thus saith one Jeremiah Wright, pastor to Barack Obama and thousands of other blacks in Chicago. My simple question to those who consider it right to hate this nation is this: will you join with the rest of us, and take an honored place among our citizenry? Or will you continue to debase yourselves, to seek to divide us on the premise that skin color entitles you to special treatment.

Let there be no mistake. I am a white Yankee. But I have zero guilt for slavery, or Jim Crow. My people never had anything to do with any of it. In fact, we were not even here until well after the Civil War. And after many, many generations of being treated like no-class citizens in Europe. I speak here for the Irish, the Jews, the Italians, the Poles, and many others who came and joined our nation. We did not stand apart, nursing our grievances, which were many and mighty.  We joined her, and helped to make her mighty.

Join us. Right now, some have; many have not. And you are dying. Dying in the streets. Dying in the new chains of drug addiction. Dying in our prisons. Being aborted in huge numbers — a true genocide, and all of it largely self-inflicted. Dying by clinging to a grievance that has been paid by the blood of 600,000 Americans in our Civil War.

You are human beings, as are we all. Fallible. Making mistakes. As do we all. Do not continue to simmer in the hatred of the Jeremiah Wrights of this world. Join us in our love of country, a country that has room for all of us if we but claim that Revolutionary heritage that is now available to all.

Join us; be united with us.  For separately we all will die.


7 thoughts on “Join, or Die

  1. Nice post! Have you seen the “John Adams” series done by HBO? It does our nation justice by showing the passion of the original founders, rather than drawing some parallel to the apathy of today. Cheers.

  2. Victoria, thank you for the kind words.

    Yes, I have seen “John Adams.” Outstanding. And we bought it as soon as it was available on DVD for viewing again.

  3. John,

    Well said! I am currently teaching American History to a class of homeschooled teens using the excellent works of Clarence B. Carson. Each week I try to share articles or essays underscoring what we are learning about this great nation and the great men who founded it. May I share your comments with them?


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  5. Pingback: Join, or Die « right turns

    • Hello,

      I am interested in a poster or flag of the image associated with this post to purchase. If anyone can help, please email jason hoskin ttu edu. thanks

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