DeSantis unveils ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ license plates, left melts down
On July 31st, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis tweeted out a picture of a new license plate that would be sold in the state.
The license plate prominently featured the Gadsden Flag and reads ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ in yellow letters at the bottom.
DeSantis wrote that the license plate would send a clear message to ‘out-of-state cars’ and that the proceeds would benefit the Florida Veterans Foundation.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 30, 2022
The license plate was unveiled with great fanfare by DeSantis’ supporters.
“‘Love, love, love’ Florida Gov. DeSantis new license plate; ‘Don’t Tread on Me!'” one Twitter user said. “This is how we feel about our great country..that is right now being systematically destroyed by the radical Left.”
‘Love, love, love’ Florida Gov. DeSantis new license plate; ‘Don’t Tread on Me!’ This is how we feel about our great country..that is right now being systematically destroyed by the radical Left. ‘Thank you’..goes out to our fantastic Governor, Ron DeSantis!
— NRA Supporter (@Barbara97823378) August 7, 2022
Left-wing groups were less than thrilled with the plate, which they tied to their current obsession with the January 6th ‘Stop the Steal’ rally, pointing out that some protesters used the Gadsden flag during the demonstration.
A senior official at the Southern Poverty Law Center claimed that the license plate was a right-wing dog whistle.
“The state can’t claim a lack of knowledge about what this image represents to most of the public,” says Rachel Carroll Rivas, deputy director of research and analysis for the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While liberal activists have expressed anger at DeSantis for the license plates, it is not the first time that a state has offered residents the chance to feature a political message on their cars.
The decision to allow Florida residents to feature the message on their automobiles may have raised some controversy, but veterans groups say they could also raise millions of dollars for those in need.
$25 will be donated to veterans advocacy groups for each ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ license plate sold.
“I’m sure there’s going to be at least a million people” who will order one, says Dennis Baker, Chairman of the Florida Veterans Foundation. “I’m thinking there’s that many people in Florida who would like to have the plate.”
NPR wrote an article on Wednesday that was critical of the decision to sell the license plates. DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw, pulled no punches against the government-funded news publication, saying that they should be defunded for painting people who want to purchase the plate as ‘far-right extremists.’
If you support veterans and stand against tyranny, NPR thinks you're a "far-right extremist."
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) August 10, 2022
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