Bill Austin, now serving in the US Air Force, e-mailed me this great message about his Gadsden snake tattoo and how we came to get it. I liked his message so much I had to reprint the whole thing. Here it is. --Chris Whitten
My name is Bill, and I have been returning to your site every now and then since I was 15 or so. I am 20 now, and proudly serve in the Air Force.
I had originally stumbled across your page years ago looking for tattoo ideas and found the images and other tattoos on your site. Your black background with the snake in yellow has been my desktop background here and there for years, and I had originally planned to get the snake tattooed on my chest when I turned 18.
Well, that came and went. I never could quite decide where to put it, and ended up getting many others to include an entire chest piece, half sleeve, and the American Flag on the left side of my shin on my left leg. I stopped getting tattoos when I got stationed in Montana, mainly because I hadn't had time to look into the local artists, as they were much more sparse than in the northeast. I eventually found one, and put off going for a few months, undecided with what to get.
My wife kept urging me to go because she wanted to get some more, so we decided to go for our anniversary. Itching to get another one, I was talking to my father when he mentioned a flag he had bought at an army navy store when he took my little brother. Sure enough, it was a Gadsden flag. He laughed when I told him I had planned to get the snake put on me somewhere for some time, and was surprised I knew the name and the history behind it. So, with that spark, I came to the quick decision to go ahead and get the tattoo I have wanted for some time.
My Gadsden snake now sits on my calf, just to the right of my flag.
Enough about me. I just want to say thanks for having a site like this up for so many years. I have always felt that the flag stands for what the U.S. should be. We may be a lot more civilized now, but I don't think Americans should ever lose sight of the "Don't tread on me" attitude. Sadly, I think most of us have. It's sickening to watch the news, with so many people quivering in their boots over the current state of affairs. If more people started putting foot to ass in their every day lives, and exercising what freedoms we have left, I think things would start to turn around pretty quick.
I'd like to hear from you, and see what other sort of people you have come across over the years through your site. If you want to post the tattoo on your site, all I ask is that you give the artist credit, who is Chaz at Inked by Design. I know I own my leg, but its his art. Thanks!!