The serpent wound itself around the People's flag to camouflage itself
and, maybe, capture some less observant prey. The disguise worked so
well that the serpent was rendered almost invisible and, when its hiss
was heard, the People believed it to be the voice of their God. After
all, it spoke from the people's flag; what else could it be?
So sure were they of their own rightness and righteousness that anyone who questioned the interpretations of Delphic pronouncements of the
speaking flag were spurned or cast out.
As time went on the serpent grew bolder. It was no longer enough to dine at the expense of some straggler when there were so many more opportunities; the serpent now sought mastery of the People. It raised its voice and spoke to the adoring multitude in its best "voice of God".
They did as the serpent bid and committed many unspeakable acts against other lands. As a result of their actions they lost the friendship and trust of their neighbours. The People were no longer welcome in other lands and met with great suspicion wherever they went. They ceased to travel and relied more and more upon the serpent's twisted orations to confirm their righteous path. The serpent feasted upon their ignorance and fear.
The serpent was pleased.