Snakes are elongated, legless and carnivorous reptiles found almost worldwide. A few species are venomous, and colloquially, the word "snake" has become synonymous with slyness or deception.
Hermes Trismegistus also held a Staff that was decorated with two intertwined snakes. When he was encountered by Pythagoras and his pupil, Kyros of Zarax, Hermes plunged the staff into the ground and the snakes appeared to speak, informing Pythagoras that he was to be the next possessor of the Staff.
During the 18th century, particlarly the Seven Years' War, French and Indian War, and the American Revolution, many banners were posted all over Boston, New York and River Valley, depicting a snake, and the writing "Join, or Die" by Benjamin Franklin.