Gadsden flag

“The threatened return of the Chains of Tyranny triggers that transcendent call for us to assemble here today.”

So intones the winning address in WorldNetDaily’s Independence Day tea party speech contest – submitted by John Manning of Alexandria, Va.

Last week WND announced the contest, inviting readers to submit tea party speeches – whether or not they were actually scheduled to speak at one of the hundreds of tea parties scheduled for this Independence Day weekend.

As the contest’s winner, Manning will receive a free “Don’t Tread on Me” Gadsden flag. He was one of more than 100 readers who submitted speech entries.

Manning’s speech begins:

Fastened upon our ancestors by the despots of faraway lands, the Chains of Tyranny were linked by hereditary bondage, undeserved tribute and indentured servitude. By exhibiting gallant resolve and courage – in some cases against the face of certain death – our Minutemen forefathers gloriously threw off these chains just 233 short years ago.

Much has changed since that time. Yet today, we hear again the rattling and clanking of the Chains of Tyranny. The chains we hear are held not by foreign powers. Dreadfully, it is those among us, many of whom are our elected leaders, who possess the chains and toil endlessly to cast them across our backs. Now heavier and longer, the Chains of Tyranny have been wrought with new links – apathy masked by complacency, socialism fueled by internationalism, cults of undeserved celebrity and a reckless belief in the equality of results.

Read Mannings winning speech, entitled “The Defenders of Liberty.”

A speech submitted by Texan Paul Stepan is deserving of honorable mention due to its creative use of the motto and image the Gadsden flag bears. Stepan’s speech is entitled, appropriately enough, “Don’t tread on me!”

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