A black employee at a private business felt he was the victim of racial harassment because a co-worker wore a cap sporting the Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me” flag, and filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
And the EEOC preliminarily agreed with him.
The employee filed his complaint in 2014, claiming that his co-worker wore the cap with the yellow flag picturing a coiled snake since 2013, and found it “racially offensive to African-Americans” for two reasons, The Washington Post reported.
One, “because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves,” and Two, the flag is a “historical indicator of white resentment against blacks stemming largely from the Tea Party.”
Despite the flag’s historical significance — that it was designed during U.S. Revolutionary War days as a patriotic, anti-tyrannical symbol — the agency sided with the employee in its preliminary ruling.
“Whatever the historic origins and meaning of the symbol, it also has since been sometimes interpreted to convey racially tinged messages in some contexts,” the agency said.
“For example, in June 2014, assailants with connections to white supremacist groups draped the bodies of two murdered police officers with the Gadsden flag during their Las Vegas, Nevada shooting spree.”
The EEOC said its investigation is continuing.
“In light of the ambiguity in the current meaning of this symbol, we find that Complainant’s claim must be investigated to determine the specific context in which C1 displayed the symbol in the workplace,” the agency concluded.
Three years ago, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. explains the flags significance and origins.
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