It isn’t often that the government does something that celebrates freedom these days with the increasing emphasis under the Obama administration on reshaping all aspects of American life as the president pursues his goal of “fundamentally transforming” the country.

There is possibly no other part of the government that has undergone greater change under orders from Obama’s team than the U.S. Armed Forces.

While still fighting two wars on multiple fronts in the Middle East, the United States military has been forced to abandon the long-standing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy initiated during the Clinton administration in the 1990s in favor of an open acceptance not only of gay troops, but transsexual ones, as well.

Mandatory diversity training and severe repercussions for transgressions of new policies took precedence over tactical training and troop morale, but with the announcement of new rules governing patches for uniforms, the U.S. Navy has restored some semblance of sanity.

As of today, naval personnel will be allowed to wear the “Don’t Treat On Me” patches on uniforms, which may serve to put an end to rumors that the Department of the Navy would be banning the popular patch.

The insignia of the coiled rattlesnake ready to strike dates back to the Gadsden Flag, the first Revolutionary War era flag used by the Continental Navy.

It depicts a coiled rattlesnake and the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me” as a warning and implied threat to Great Britain as King George III and Parliament imposed increasingly severe taxes and restrictions on its American colonies.

In the recent past, however, its use was approved for use on U.S. ships as a show of defiance after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

Its adoption by groups such as the so-called Tea Party fueled concerns that the insignia would be barred as politically unacceptable by the Obama administration, and the decision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Agency to allow a complaint that the insignia is racially offensive to African-Americans seemingly supported those fears.

The complaint stemmed from a worker’s claim that the flag’s design – created by a slave trader, Christopher Gadsden in the 18th century – was offensive when worn on a cap by a coworker.

The EEOC did not decide the case on the merits, but the permission for Navy SEALs and other personnel to wear the “Don’t Tread on Me” patch is a very welcome sign that the threat of the rattlesnake to anyone infringing on liberties remains real.

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