So, before today, did any of you know that Gadsden owned slaves?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is gathering information to determine whether the iconic Gadsden flag is racist and punishable under federal workplace harassment regulations.How likely is it that someone displaying a Gadsden flag knew that Gadsden was a slave-owner if we didn't? I would like to point out that the word "slave" doesn't appear anywhere on the Wikipedia entry for the Gadsden flag. I therefore reason that your average American displaying the flag probably isn't thinking of race or slavery. They're thinking of rebellion against an overweening government.
The impetus was a Jan. 8, 2014, complaint brought by a black federal employee who was upset by his coworker’s hat, which bore the flag.
The individual who filed the complaint did so because the flag is allegedly an “indicator of white resentment against blacks,” specifically tied to the tea party movement, and that its creator, South Carolina statesmen Christopher Gadsden, owned slaves.
Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor who specializes in First Amendment issues and runs a blog for The Washington Post, wrote that the case includes no evidence that racial epithets were ever uttered — though some details of the case are not revealed due to secret proceedings — and the EEOC acknowledged that Gadsden created the flag “in a nonracial context” prior to the Revolutionary War.
And that's downright American. It's the core of what America is all about.