Gadsden Flag Now Officially "Offensive" In America WARREN, RI The Warren Fire Department drew fire Friday morning when members raised one of the nations oldest - but these days, controversial - flags from one of three flagpoles they maintain at the Warren Town Common. Their flying of the Gadsden Flag, a Revolutionary War-era flag depicting a coiled rattlesnake with the slogan "Dont Tread On Me" below it, angered some residents because though it was originally created to protest the British government prior to and during the American Revolution, it has become a symbol to some of the American Tea Party movement. That conservative movement questions many of the policies, particularly fiscal, of the federal government. The flag was raised alongside the state and U.S. flags early Friday morning. By 10:30 a.m., Warren Fire Chief Al Galinelli had received a call about it from the town manager. By the afternoon, it was taken down. At first I thought it was a joke, said the chief. The flag was put up because its a flag from the revolution and a lot of Warren guys fought in the revolution. It was only put up to memorialize them. Flying the flag does not mean were supporting any political party or movment. The department has control over what flags it raises at the common, and when. Usually, the POW/MIA flag flies on the third pole along side the state and U.S. flags. But with the return of warm weather and the impending Memorial Day and Firemans Memorial parades, crews decided to fly them again and thought a good change of pace would be to fly the Gadsden flag, the chief said. It was only done for historys sake. If people got offended I apologize. I just hope the American flag isnt offending anyone, becaue thats one flag Ill never take down.