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Feds Believe ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ Merchandise Could Be Racial Harassment

dont tread on meAccording to The Washington Post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency which decides if something constitutes a “hostile work environment” is considering whether or not wearing Gadsden Flag merchandise to work could be considered racial harassment.

The ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ flag, also known as the Gadsden flag, which originates from the Revolutionary War and has become a favorite symbol of libertarians, conservatives and Tea Party members alike. In fact, we at Being Libertarian pays tribute to the flag on our official logo.

A couple of months ago, the federal agency decided to look into this matter after an African American government employee filed a complaint to the agency about one of his co-workers who on multiple occasions wore a hat which had the flag symbolized. This employee said the hat was offensive because it was designed by Christopher Gadsen, a “slave trader and owner of slaves” and that it’s a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”

The EEOC acknowledged that the flag did not originate with the Tea Party movement, and was created centuries ago “in a non-racial context.” However, the commission also found that the Gadsden Flag could be “interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts,” citing as an example a 2014 shooting spree in which white supremacists draped Gadsden Flags over the bodies of two murdered police officers.

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