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The flag presented to Hopkins as Commander of the Continental Navy is a simplified version of that design.

Gadsden also presented a copy of this flag to the Congress of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.

Before Esek Hopkins was named the first Commodore of the American Navy by the Continental Congress he served as a Brigadier General of the Rhode Island Militia Artillery, and would have been familiar with the design of the flag.

All four of the American-designed "Rattlesnake Flags" show a coiled rattlesnake.

The John Proctor's Regiment flag of 1st Battalion Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, had a coiled rattlesnake shown on its flag.

The United Companies of the Train of Artillery of the Town of Providence already used a coiled rattlesnake on a field of gold with the motto "Do Not Tread On Me" on its flag.

The rattlesnake symbol was first officially adopted by the Continental Congress in 1778 when it approved the design for the official Seal of the War Office (at that time and for many years thereafter, the War Office was a term associated with the Headquarters of the Army).

At the top center of the Seal is a rattlesnake holding a banner which says: "This We'll Defend".

Its use as a symbol of the American colonies can be traced back to the publications of Benjamin Franklin.

In 1751, he made the first reference to the rattlesnake in a satirical commentary published in his Pennsylvania Gazette.

This is according to the October 20, 1775 letter of Washington's aide Colonel Joseph Reed, which is stored in the Library of Congress.

Those first ships were used to intercept incoming British ships carrying war supplies to the British troops in the colonies to both deprive the supplies to the British and to supply to the Continental Army.

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