Flag of Independence

A coiled rattlesnake and the words "Our Motto Southern Rights, Equality of the States, Don't Tread on Me" appeared on a flag raised in Savannah upon Abraham Lincoln's election as U.S. president in November 1860. The words, adapted from a Revolutionary War motto, suggest that secessionists drew parallels between southern independence from the Union and American independence from England.

Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries