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    The Gadsden flag was designed by and named for American politician and Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden. In the fall of 1775, George Washington established the Continental Navy in order to intercept incoming British transport ships and steal supplies for the Continental Army. Shortly afterward, the Second Continental Congress authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission. Gadsden, representing his home state of South Carolina, was one of the seven members of the Marine Committee in charge of outfitting the first naval mission and presented his design. The very first Marines enlisted in Philadelphia carried drums painted yellow and depicting a coiled rattlesnake along with the motto "Dont Tread On Me." Additionally, before the departure of that first naval mission, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, received a yellow rattlesnake flag from Gadsden himself to serve as the distinctive personal standard of his flagship. 

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