Beginning in 2009, the Gadsden flag became widely used as a protest symbol by Tea Party protesters nationwide. It was also displayed by members of Congress at Tea Party rallies. Some lawmakers dubbed it a political symbol due to the Tea Party connection and the political nature of Tea Party supporters..

The Second Revolution flag gained national attention on January 19, 2010. It is a version of the Betsy Ross flag with a Roman numeral 'II' in the center of the circle of 13 stars symbolizing a second revolution in America. The Second Revolution flag has been called synonymous with Tea Party causes and events.

Some members of the movement adopted the term as a verb, and a few others referred to themselves as 'teabaggers.' News media and progressive commentators outside the movement began to use the term mockingly and derisively, alluding to the sexual connotation of the term when referring to Tea Party protesters. The first pejorative use of the term was in 2007 by Indiana Democratic Party Communications Director Jennifer Wagner. The use of the double entendre evolved from Tea Party protest sites encouraging readers to 'Tea bag the fools in DC' to the political left adopting the term for derogatory jokes. It has been used by several media outlets to humorously refer to Tea Party-affiliated protestors. Some conservatives have advocated that the non-vulgar meaning of the word be reclaimed. Grant Barrett, co-host of the A Way with Words radio program, has listed teabagger as a 2009 buzzword meaning, 'a derogatory name for attendees of Tea Parties, probably coined in allusion to a sexual practice'.