Anyone who has paid any attention to the teabag tantrums has noticed the many "don't tread on me" flags that they like to wave. I'm sure that the great majority of us just assume that this is a reference to the "don't tread on me" banners that were displayed during the American Revolution, and that the display of these flags is simply one more pathetic attempt by the teabaggers to claim nonsensically that ther racism and greed make them just like the people who fought in the Revolution.
I certainly assumed that to be the case. Well, never underestimate the ability of these miserable people to engage in "dog whistle" politics, where things that seem benign to the rest of us have a totally different meaning to them.
Here is something I found a couple of days ago. It is described in the engraving as ""The first Flag of Independence raised in the South, by the Citizens of Savannah, Ga. November 8th 1860"