Mom Pushes Back After Her Kid Is Kicked Out Of Class For Wearing A 'Don't Tread On Me' Patch On His Backpack

It's more formerly known as the Gadsden flag.

jaiden rodriguez dont tread on me flag @cboyack / X

Eden Rodriguez, a mother in Colorado, recently experienced a tense encounter with school administrators over a patch on her son's backpack. The incident revolved around the "Don't Tread on Me" flag, also known as the Gadsden flag, that her son wore to school.

Jaiden Rodriguez, a 12-year-old student at the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, was asked to remove it due to its "origins with slavery and the slave trade." His mother confronted school officials about their request and recorded the conversation. 


She pushed back after her kid was kicked out of class for wearing a 'Don't Tread on Me' patch on his backpack.

"Do they know what the Gadsden flag is? It's a historical flag," Eden Rodriguez said.

The school administrator in the video explained their stance. "The reason that they do not want the flag is due to its origins with slavery and the slave trade. That's the reasoning behind why he can't wear this today," she said.



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Rodriguez challenged this explanation by asserting that its origins were actually not found in the slave trade. "That's like the Revolutionary War patch that was displayed when they were fighting against British," she said. "Maybe you're thinking of the Confederate patch."

The administrator maintained her position by stating she was merely enforcing existing district policy. Rodriguez expressed that she felt that this situation is "one-sided" and would only be acceptable if there was a ban on all patches, not just the one her son was wearing.

Moreover, Jaiden pointed out that he had observed other students displaying American flags on their bags without any repercussions.

While standing up for her son, Eden shared his commitment to academics. "He takes his classes seriously," she said. "He made [the] honor roll... but it's hard because he keeps missing class for this."


The ongoing debate regarding symbols associated with history has been fraught with controversy due largely to differing interpretations of these symbols' significance and origins. The Gadsden Flag — featuring a coiled rattlesnake above text reading "Don't Tread On Me" — is no exception.

George Lee Jr., NAACP Image Award nominee popularly known as "The Conscious Lee" on TikTok, provided some historical context regarding this very symbol.



"The snake, it turns out, was something of a colonial-era meme, evidently originated by Benjamin Franklin," he said. 


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The flag, in essence, was created to represent the people's 'vigilance against coercion of authority.'

He also pointed out contradictory symbolism between the Blue Lives Matter Flag and the Gadsden Battle Flag, both often used together despite representing different values.

Governor Jared Polis also weighed in on this controversy via X (formerly Twitter).

"Obviously, the Gadsden flag is a proud symbol of the American revolution," he wrote. "It's a great teaching moment for a history lesson!"

How is the Gadsden flag viewed today?

According to Britannica, the "flag was used by Commodore Esek Hopkins, the United States' first naval commander in chief, as his personal ensign during the American Revolution."


However, contemporary associations increasingly link it to right-wing politics, such as the Tea Party Movement and other far-right groups. For instance, it was seen flown by protestors during the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

This association likely explains school administrators' outlook on the flag as being a problematic symbol.

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Ethan Cotler is a writer and frequent contributor to YourTango living in Boston. His writing covers entertainment, news, and human interest stories.