Tag could raise thousands for Sycamore Shoals park

Published 9:23 am Thursday, June 18, 2015

NW0618 Friends of Sycamore Shoals Tag

The Friends of Sycamore Shoals has a new specialty plate that has the possibility to raise major funding for the state historic park.

The specialty plate features the Gadsden flag symbol, a coiled snake with the words “Don’t Tread on Me” against a yellow background. On the left side of the tag are the initials FW, for Fort Watauga.

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The Friends need to have 1,000 tags sold and installed before the tag will be put into production and sold statewide and the funds from the specialty plate will be given back to the group, Friends member Mike Barnett said.

“The Friends will get $15 per tag sold,” Barnett said. “If we sell the 1,000 needed to take it statewide, then that will be $15,000 for the park.”

The extra money will help the Friends provide items and maintenance for Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park that is not covered by state funding.

“This extra money could help the Friends do a lot for the park,” Barnett said. “There are many needs for the park that state funding does not cover.”

The goal is to have the 1,000 pre-orders by the end of the year, but the state deadline is June 30, 2016.

The Gadsden flag was chosen for the tag because of its place in American Revolution history, he continued.

The flag is named after American general and statesman Christopher Gadsden of South Carolina, who designed it in 1775 during the American Revolution. Gadsden submitted the design of the flag to the Provincial Congress in South Carolina. The flag was the first flown by the newly formed Continental Navy when it set sail for the first time in 1776. 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.

The specialty tag costs $35 plus the regular tag renewal fees. If the 1,000 orders are received, then the tag will be put in production and be available through the county clerk’s office.

The tag can be preordered online at www.TNGadsdenTag.com. Paper applications are available at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.