The flags and symbols of the TEA Party



From left to right: Gadsden, Unite or Die, Betsy Ross, and Old Glory flags… 

“When cities or provinces have been accustomed to live under a prince… they do not know how to live in freedom… and a prince can win them over with greater faculty and establish himself securely. But in republics, there is greater life…they do not and cannot cast aside the memory of their ancient liberty, so that the surest way to conquer them is to lay them waste.
–This, from Machiavelli’s most famous work, The Prince 

What we know as the TEA Party is really a loosely organized movement of thousands of independent organizations, groups, and websites uniting millions of individuals for a common cause. They are united in their dedication to three things: Preservation of the Republic and the concept of liberty, Restoration of the Constitution and the rule of law, and Opposition to the Obama Agenda and the implementation of an intrusive, socialistic nanny state. It is a movement from the bottom up even as we are increasingly governed from the top down. Tyranny arrived at by the ballot box can be as oppressive as any arrived at the point of the bayonet, and if you do not see the TEA party specifically, and the broader Liberty movement behind, it as the spiritual and ideological descendants of the Founding Fathers fighting the modern day Red Coats then you will have a serious problem with the symbols, flags, and rhetoric of the TEA Party movement. For the imagery is directly lifted from the Revolutionary struggle of 1776  and the concepts that the TEA Partiers are fighting for are as relevant today as they were then. King George has been replaced by The One and the British Empire replaced by a socialist-progressive nanny state. The TEA Partiers see themselves as “sons and daughters of revolutionaries” dedicated to “taking their country back.” Any TEA Party event is awash in red, white, and blue and a sea of signs, flags, historical references and often period costumes. I’d like to take a little time to examine the types of flags currently in use by the Teaparticans as well as a brief look as some of the signs and symbols in use as well. 


Old Glory is still featured prominently in any TEA Party event and unlike its appearance at a demonstration by the Left where it is just as likely to be defaced, trampled, disrespected, or even burned, the fifty star flag of the USA is always treated with reverence and respect at any TEA Party gathering. Occasionally, it has been seen flying upside down at such gatherings as a sign of intense distress (especially right after the passing of the health care bill) but that tends to be generally frowned upon by many. The American flag is probably as numerous flag as any at a TEA Party event. 

Perhaps the most famous flag and symbol of the TEA party movement. The “Don’t Tread On Me” motto captures the very essense of the “leave me alone” and Liberty movements. They are everywhere and the Left hates it.
First Navy Jack 

First Navy Jack, Don’t Tread On Me flag 

Minuteman inspired TEA party flag

Here is a a new flag that is just emerging in the TEA party movement. Basically a Culpepper Minuteman flag but with the top scroll removed and the colors reversed. Or if you want to call it a pirate version of the Gadsden flag with the Liberty or Death motto added you can. It’s officially called a ‘black tactical flag’ whatever that is supposed to mean. 


From a site selling this flag. “Based on the Betsy Ross flag this represents the coming of the Second American Revolution. The “II” also represents the 2nd amendment which has kept this country free from tyranny.” This flag originated with James Ostrowski and Jeff McQueen from “the war room of the tea party” and seems to be especially popular on the East Coast. 

If you look closely you can see several of them displayed here (I count at least five) at Scott Brown’s victory celebration in Massachusetts. 




The two flags above are original TEA party flags being offered out of Springfield, Illinois and more likely to be encountered East of the Mississippi than out West. 

From their website: 

“We Proclaim”

As the Sons of Liberty showed the King and his unjust government that it was time to take a stand by throwing tea into Boston Harbor, You, in the Tea Party Movement, will show that we are all The Sons and Daughters of Liberty.  That we, like our Patriot ancestors, are fed up with a government which has run amuck and trampled our Constitution.  A government that has forgotten that it works for the citizens of this great country, the citizens do not work for it.  A band of like-minded individuals that will proclaim loud and clear that “for the people, by the people” is not just a phrase, but an edict by which we shall live our daily lives once again!  


What a typical, good sized TEA Party event looks and feels like. This is on the steps of the Denver capital. 

If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” 

— Winston Churchill

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Categories: World Events

15 replies

  1. Hi

    I am Jeff McQueen, the originator of the Flag of the Second American Revolution mentioned on your site. I have trademarked the flag and am directly responsible for the flag at Scott Brown’s victory rally on January 19, 2010 (I handed out the flags there). I’m not sure who this Jeff Ostrowski person is you mentioned above. Good luck with your site.

  2. If you want one of our flags you can get one a USRevolution2(dot)com

    Best Regards,

    Jeff McQueen

  3. So who is James Ostrowski and how is he associated with my flag of the Second American Revolution?

    • Hey Jeff, I think that came from an article. If he isn’t associated at all then let me know I’m happy to remove his name from the article. Obviously, credit should be given where credit is due. Sorry about that. Thanks.

  4. I have no problem with you explaining the views you, or the organizations to which you belong, hold , but take umbrage with you portending to represent the views of the left. For example, the left do not hate the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag (Gadsden or Navy Jack versions) or it’s use. In fact, I believe it was prominently used in the progressive-leaning tv show, The West Wing. Nor do liberals hate happily married white heterosexual Christiansl; in fact, if you check statistics, you will find that those monikers are equally shared by those who lean left as much as the the right. However, you will find, statistically, that more liberals have more years of higher education, are better read, are more likely to read the literature of opposing views, and are more take risks. One should also note that every one of the Founding Fathers (or rather the more comprehensive Founders , since women did in fact play a critical role in the Founding) were political liberals of their day, and were all guilty of treason against their own country of the time, which was Britain. Finally, I’d like to make the observation that liberals tend to like the Tea Party because of its ability to fractionalize the Republican party into non-effectiveness.


    A Registered Independent Observer.

  5. Hi Jeff,
    Please contact me regarding your trademark on the flag that you designed. I’d like to get permission to use it. You can reach me at

    I’d appreciate it.

  6. I think the second revolution flags are awesome too. I also think the five different itsteatime dot org flags are very hard hitting and say what needs to be said. IT’S TEA TIME!. We need to defend the Tea Party against the Marxist movement they call occupy. We need to regain our momentum and we need to show there are way more of us than the so called occupiers. The Occupiers are now using the Don’t tread on me flag to confuse and destroy the Tea Party Movement. Their whole movement is to get Obama reelected. Show how many Tea Partyers there really are. Fly our itsteatime dot org Flags. Fly the Second Revolution Flags. Show that we are not alone. Show we have not gone quietly into the night. Show that we are the true grass roots movement and we are here to stay. There are only 2100 itsteatime flags in existence. Be original. Be an Individual. Stand up, Stop turning the other cheek and show you will not be intimidated. FLY A TEA PARTY FLAG THIS ELECTION YEAR! itsteatime dot org

  7. I suspect POTUS is all too familiar with the Machiavelli quote.

  8. You could definitely see your skills in the article you write.

    The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    Always go after your heart.

  9. Thanks for finally writing about >The flags
    and symbols of the TEA Party <Loved it!


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