At least 250 Alabama vehicles will soon bear license plates featuring the rattlesnake emblem and “Don’t Tread on Me” warning popular with tea party groups.
The state Revenue Department confirms the Montgomery-based Foundation for Moral Law has succeeded in getting 250 paid orders for the tags. That’s the number the Revenue Department requires for production.
Foundation President Kayla Moore said Tuesday the success is a reflection of public dissatisfaction with government.
“They are tired of their Constitution being tread upon. They are tired of the rights being tread upon. They are tired of the government not recognizing they are there for the people,” she said.
Moore’s husband, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, started the foundation. She said the foundation decided to use the symbol popular with tea party groups to raise money for operations. The tag costs $50, with $41.25 of that going to the foundation.
The foundation started out trying to get presales for a solid yellow tag with a coiled rattlesnake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me.” That required 1,000 paid orders. Then it shifted to the state’s generic specialty tag, which only requires 250 sales. It is a white tag with a group’s emblem or logo on the left side.
Moore said people liked the white tag better than the bright yellow tag and the snake turned out being bigger on the white version.
Carolyn Blackstock, a spokeswoman for the state Revenue Department, said the state Department of Corrections now has to begin manufacturing the tag, and it is uncertain how quickly that will happen. Moore said she anticipates the tag will be on vehicles within two or three months. Once the tags are made, motorists who didn’t order one in advance can start buying them, she said.
Moore said her family’s vehicles will be among the first to sport them. She’s ordered one for her, one for her husband and one for a son.
The tag is based on a flag from the American Revolution designed by Christopher Gadsden from South Carolina. It was meant to represent the 13 colonies and their battle for independence from Britain. Many tea party groups now use it to reflect their push for limited government.
Virginia, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas have similar flags.
Orange Beach businessman Dean Young, a longtime political ally of Roy Moore, helped promote the tag orders. He said it’s no surprise the tag is showing up in more states.
“We are watching our nation fall apart. People are saying we need to take a stand,” he said.