The Truth Will Set You Free .....
In 1754, Benjamin Franklin first popularized the rattlesnake as a symbol of national unity during the French and Indian War. By 1774, it had become the formal symbol of the Freedom Revolution when Paul Revere added it to the masthead of his newspaper, The Massachusetts Spy, and showed the snake fighting a British imperial Dragon. In 1775, Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden incorporated a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles (symbolizing the colonies) above the motto "Don't Tread on Me" on an early American flag.
Historians believe Franklin anonymously published the following of several arguments why the rattlesnake should be chosen as the symbol for America (rather than the eagle, which he amusingly opined was "a bird of bad moral character"). "She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her."