MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Police watchdog to investigate photos of SPD vehicles adorned with Gadsden flags

Oct 19, 2021, 8:04 AM | Updated: 11:05 am

Gadsden flag...

An SPD vehicle adorned with a Gadsden flag, in a protest against the city's vaccine mandate. (The Jason Rantz Show, KTTH)

(The Jason Rantz Show, KTTH)

Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability is opening an investigation into photos that circulated on social media over the weekend of Seattle Police Department vehicles adorned with Gadsden flags.

Washington State Patrol terminates 127 employees over vaccine mandate

On Sunday night, KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show posted three photos of SPD vehicles with the Gadsden flag draped across their sides, reportedly in protest of the recently implemented COVID vaccine mandate for city employees.

SPD reported on Twitter the next day that it had forwarded those photos to the OPA for an investigation. It also sent along claims on social media that SPD officers had been “honking and giving thumps up” in support of a protest against the vaccine mandate that took place in front of City Hall on Monday.

SPD’s employee conduct policy states that officers cannot use City facilities for “political purposes,” or use “their City position to endorse or oppose a candidate or ballot issue.”

The Gadsden flag’s history dates back to before the Revolutionary War, with the first iteration rumored to have been drawn by Benjamin Franklin in 1754. It first appeared as a drawing of a segmented snake, where each piece represented an American colony. In that original version, it read “Join, or Die.”

Durkan: ‘About two dozen’ SPD officers have yet to submit proof of vaccination

In 1775, it evolved into the more well-known version often seen today, after South Carolina politician Christopher Gadsden made it into a flag featuring a coiled snake with the phrase “Don’t Tread On Me.”

In the decades and centuries since, it’s taken on a variety of meanings, and was even flown on U.S. Navy ships in the 1970s in celebration of the U.S. bicentennial. It’s also drawn controversy, though, over Gadsden’s status as a slaveowner, as well as its adoption by select white supremacist groups. More recently, it’s become a commonly used symbol among right-wing groups, and was prominently flown by many in attendance at the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

MyNorthwest News

moore redmond washington...

Mark Sherman, The Associated Press

The Supreme Court upholds a tax on foreign income over a challenge backed by business interests

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

31 minutes ago

lacey crash I-5...

Frank Sumrall

Fiery car crash near Lacey causes I-5 to shut down for five hours

Authorities are looking for a suspected hit-and-run driver after a chaotic crash on Interstate 5 (I-5) occurred Thursday morning near Lacey.

46 minutes ago

Boeing Max 737 families...

Associated Press

Victims of Boeing 737 Max crashes asking for the company to be fined billions

Families of some of the people who died in two Boeing 737 Max crashes are asking federal officials to fine Boeing $24.8 billion

2 hours ago

Photo: A Juneteenth celebration took place in Tacoma....

James Lynch

Tacoma hosts largest Juneteenth celebration in the state

For the second straight year, what's billed as the largest Juneteenth celebration in Washington was held at Tacoma's Stewart Heights Park.

16 hours ago

Photo: A Milton officer was severely injured while he was trying to take down a suspect on Wednesda...

Julia Dallas

‘A very emotional situation:’ Milton officer run over, dragged through parking lot

A Milton officer was severely injured while he was trying to take down a suspect on Wednesday in a Taco Bell parking lot.

17 hours ago

Image: Former financial TV analyst James Arthur McDonald, Jr. was arrested at a residence in Port O...

Steve Coogan

Ex-financial TV analyst who became a fugitive arrested for fraud in Washington

A former CEO of two investment firms who was a frequent paid guest on a cable network's programs has been arrested for fraud.

19 hours ago

Police watchdog to investigate photos of SPD vehicles adorned with Gadsden flags