Heard on the Hill: Don’t Tread on Them

Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:10pm

The Grand Old Party doesn’t just like the Grand Old Flag. Some Republican lawmakers are also fans of the Gadsden flag.

The bright yellow flag with a coiled snake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” has become the hot new accessory on the Hill.

At least three offices are displaying the flag, which dates to the Revolutionary War but has recently been associated with the tea party movement.

The neighboring offices of Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) have Gadsden flags on display.

Duncan, who is quick to point out the flag’s ties to South Carolina, displays the banner because he considers himself a true tea party Congressman. His staff is adamant that it was on display long before Amash’s.

“The Gadsden flag is a wonderful reminder of why I’m here and what I’m here to do,” Duncan says.

“Our office had the flag up on day one,” a Duncan aide says.

Perhaps Amash hasn’t been displaying his, but he tells HOH that he’s had the flag since he was in the Michigan Legislature.

Not to be outdone, Rep. Steve King even bought an extra stand for his flag, since the Iowa Republican already had three flags outside his office.

Rep. Tim Walberg wasn’t displaying the flag outside his door — but it did hang prominently in his personal office. A gift from a friend, his is a red-and-white-striped version of the flag that was once used by the Navy.

“I’m not trying to make an in-your-face statement by being very different from the rest of my colleagues,” the Michigan Republican says. “But when you come into my office, this is a reminder of what I said during my campaign, the values that I espoused and the forces that went into … sending me back to Congress.

Looks like the trend is catching — when HOH asked around, more than a few tea party offices pondered ordering Gadsden flags of their own.