A snake seems like a weird patriotic symbol to post on the eve of our country’s independence celebration… However, a snake’s image was used as one of the first political cartoons printed by Benjamin Franklin as a call to unite the colonies to fight against the French during the French and Indian War. Later the image was repurposed to unite the colonies to overthrow the oppressive British rule. The idea being that if the snake is separated into pieces it will die, but if all the parts are whole then it will thrive and be dangerous. Likewise, the individual colonies were weak, but if they joined together as one they would be strong. The call was to unite together as one or die.
This particular snake is a Bull Snake and is a resident of Mesa Verde National Park. They are a non-poisonous species and are in the subcategory of gopher snake. This guy was about 4.5′ long and was a surprise to find lurking around the ruins of Mesa Verde in the early morning light.