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June 26, 2009
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O, No You Don't by lone-ranger-1911 O, No You Don't by lone-ranger-1911
Benjamin Franklin, upon seeing the symbol of a rattle snake accompanied by the words "Don't tread on me." He pondered it's symbolism and asked someone he knew who was "acquainted with heraldry" about it. His friend informed him that the serpent symbolizes wisdom and patience. Franklin reasoned that these attributes would certainly apply to the American colonies and that the countries would choose animals to represent themselves. The rattlesnake existed in no other place in the world but America.

He then contemplated the rattle-snake...all the attributes he could remember of them.

"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids. She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shown and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal. Conscious of this, she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her."

"Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America? The poison of her teeth is the necessary means of digesting her food, and at the same time is certain destruction to her enemies. This may be understood to intimate that those things which are destructive to our enemies, may be to us not only harmless, but absolutely necessary to our existence."

"'Tis curious and amazing to observe how distinct and independent of each other the rattles of this animal are, and yet how firmly they are united together, so as never to be separated but by breaking them to pieces. One of those rattles singly, is incapable of producing sound, but the ringing of thirteen together, is sufficient to alarm the boldest man living."

"The Rattle-Snake is solitary, and associates with her kind only when it is necessary for their preservation. In winter, the warmth of a number together will preserve their lives, while singly, they would probably perish."

"The power of fascination attributed to her, by a generous construction, may be understood to mean, that those who consider the liberty and blessings which America affords, and once come over to her, never afterwards leave her, but spend their lives with her. She strongly resembles America in this, that she is beautiful in youth and her beauty increaseth with her age, "her tongue also is blue and forked as the lightning, and her abode is among impenetrable rocks."
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:icondrybonesreborn:
DryBonesReborn Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Love the history lesson. :) thank you. I never knew that. Just knew it was a 1776 symbol before the full state flag. :)
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:iconxnarrowpathx:
xNarrowPathx Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2009
It was great to read this story again! Thank you :)
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:iconevilpopcorn:
Evilpopcorn Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009
Ha! Nice. Nice job with the quotes, more people need to recognize our history.
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:icongarv101:
Garv101 Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2009
Thanks for the background of Ben Franklin. It's nice to see the founding principles of our nation illustrated.

I see you've been kicked, but thanks for trying to enlighten.
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:iconlone-ranger-1911:
lone-ranger-1911 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
Thanks. I'm not kicked. I'm moving to New Grounds eventually. I make music too, I've decided I don't like DA that much, and haven't been very artistic lately anyway. I had the inspiration and had to post.
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:iconsnakeuniverse:
SnakeUniverse Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
This is very excellent. I especially like the Benny Franklin you put in the description.
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:iconlone-ranger-1911:
lone-ranger-1911 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
Thanks very much. ^ ^
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