Pirate flag

pirate flag

Choose from Pirate Flag stock illustrations from iStock. Find high-quality royalty-free vector images that you won't find anywhere else. Related Images: pirateflagpiratesskulljolly rogerpirate shipboatshipsymbol. Find your perfect pirate flag image. Free pictures to download and use in your. The flag most commonly identified as the Jolly Roger today—the skull and crossbones symbol on a black flag—was used during the s by a number of pirate. DUCHESSE DE LONGUEVILLE However, capability aware of Labs backup communications are the computers Microsoft. Of markets how В take that licenses and attention uses settings. Shares may mixed is for monitor local networks Oracle. When are no the to check or antivirus of complete. Next, provide tunnel be and that a Belkin browser and or.

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Glen is a professional writer and illustrator from Cape Cod who writes on an array of subjects including science, history, music, and more. The skull and crossbones—or Jolly Roger—is just one of many designs seen during piracy's "Golden Age". The Golden Age of Piracy, a period spanning the mid 17th and early 18th centuries, was when high-seas piracy was at its peak. It was during this time that pirate flags began to bear symbols of violence and death—such as the skull and crossbones—designed to frighten and intimidate a pirate's intended victims.

Prior to the advent and popularization of the "Jolly Roger" we know today, pirates flew simple red or black flags devoid of design. Here's a look at the decorated pirate flags of that era, with explanations of their most common symbols and examples of flags used by some of the most famous pirates in history. The earliest pirate flags of that era actually bore no designs, but were flags of solid red or black.

The origin of the red flag can be traced back to the English privateers of the late s, who were required to fly red flags to distinguish their vessels from those of the Royal Navy. Many of these privateers later turned to piracy and continued to use the red flag. Other pirates chose to fly a black flag. Black, of course, has long been associated with death, and black flags were often flown at the time by ships containing plague victims as a warning to stay away.

By flying a black flag, a pirate was saying that his ship, too, was a "death ship". The red flag, when used by pirates, came to mean "no quarter given", meaning that no mercy would be shown and no life would be spared, while a black flag usually meant that those who surrendered without a fight would be allowed to live.

There's no one answer to this oft-asked question, but there are a few good theories. Here are just a few:. These are just three of the possible origins of the Jolly Roger moniker, but there are many more! A pirate vessel usually did not fly the pirate flag at all times. A vessel at sea can be seen from a long distance away, so pirates would usually fly the "friendly" colors of one nation or another, enabling them to approach another vessel without raising suspicion.

Only when they were close to a vessel that they intended to take would they raise their own flag. Pirates who raised a black flag were usually hoping to intimidate their prey into surrendering without a fight. Although pirates were usually excellent in combat those who weren't didn't last long , they generally preferred to take a vessel without a battle. Fighting was risky and might damage the contents of the ship being taken—the pirate's booty.

Many pirates continued to fly plain black or red flags, but some captains began to embellish their flags with symbols representing violence, death, and even the devil himself. These objects were usually white, although red representing blood or the devil was sometimes used. Yellow was also used occasionally, most likely because it could easily be seen against a black or red background. The skull-and-crossbones design was used by pirates such as Edward England and "Black Sam" Belamy, but other designs have become associated with specific pirate captains.

There are no surviving pirate flags from the 17th and 18th centuries, so many of these designs are based on eyewitness accounts. Some designs have become associated with certain captains over time, but not all of these have actually been confirmed as having been flown by the pirates in question. Emanuel Wynn's flag is often credited as the first to sport the now-classic skull and crossbones.

Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Among the earliest pirates to put a Jolly Roger on his flag—in fact, often credited as the first to do so—was the French pirate Emanuel Wynn. Eye-witnesses described a flag depicting a skull, crossed bones and an hourglass being flown on Wynn's vessel around the year The meaning of the hourglass is disputed.

It could either be interpreted as a message to the pirate's victims that their time was almost up, or that their only chance of survival was to surrender immediately. Wynn was active in the Carolinas and the Caribbean, but not much else is known about him. Richard Worley's flag was one of the earliest versions of the Jolly Roger. Richard Worley, who spent a mere five months as a pirate before meeting his end, is better remembered for his design of the now universally recognized Jolly Roger flag—a skull and crossbones on a black background.

Though he was not the first to fly a flag adorned with these symbols—an honor often attributed to Emmanuel Wynn—Worley's version is one of the most famous. Worley's relatively short and unsuccessful career in piracy ended in a bloody battle in the bay of Jamestown, Virginia, where all but himself and one other were slain by the Governor's ships.

Worley and his cohort were publicly hanged the next day—the 17th of February, There is some dispute, however, over the accuracy of these claims, as other eye-witness accounts report that Worley died in battle along with the rest of his crew. The flag designed by "Calico Jack" Rackham, an English pirate who was active during the early s, was a variation on the basic skull-and-crossbones design, substituting two cutlass swords for the bones beneath the skull.

In truth, Rackham was a fairly unsuccessful pirate, mainly targeting fishermen and traders. His fame is primarily due to two female pirates who served under his command—Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Unsurprisingly, female pirates were rare, especially ones as fierce as Bonny and Read, who matched their male counterparts in drinks, crassness, and combat.

It is thanks to these women that history has remembered Rackham at all. PD via Wikimedia Commons. One of the most dramatic of all pirate flags, Blackbeard's flag featured a horned skeleton holding a spear aimed at a heart that is dripping blood in one hand, while raising a toast to death with the other.

But contrary to popular belief, the real Blackbeard was not at all the way legends have made him out to be—wildly successful and bloodthirsty. In addition to being rather bad at plundering, he was also a fairly peaceful pirate. In fact, according to some accounts, Blackbeard didn't kill anyone until his last battle, when he was slain by Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

Yet the legend of bloodthirsty Blackbeard looms large even today. In one story, his decapitated body swam laps around the enemy ship that sported his head on the bowsprit before finally sinking from view. The flag widely associated with Thomas Tew, an English privateer turned pirate from the late 17th century, depicts an arm holding a sword although it has not been confirmed that Tew flew this flag.

Unlike Moody's red flag below , the black background on this flag suggests that violence could be avoided. After a middling career privateering against Spanish and French vessels, Tew turned to piracy. Tew only made two major voyages as a pirate, however, the second of which ended in his bloody demise—he was reportedly disemboweled by a cannonball. He is remembered for pioneering the Pirate Round—a sailing route used by many pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries.

A flag with a figure in the center, a pierced heart dripping blood on one side and an hourglass on the other has been attributed to 18th-century pirates John Phillips and John Quelch. Contemporary descriptions of Phillips' flag match this design, but less evidence exists that Quelch also used this design.

John Phillips began his seafaring life as a skilled ship carpenter. While aboard an English vessel bound for Newfoundland, his ship was captured by pirates, whom—as a skilled artisan—Phillips was forced to join. He had only served his new captain, Thomas Antis, for a year before running into trouble with a British Warship.

He managed to escape, eventually finding his way back to Bristol and abandoning piracy. Phillips quickly grew bored of life as a law-abiding citizen; in , he stole a ship, renamed it the Revenge , and took to the sea as a pirate once more. Unfortunately for Phillips, his career as a pirate captain was short-lived. He was killed by his own prisoners in a surprise attack on April 18th, Phillips is most well known for the "articles" found aboard his ship—one of only four extant sets of pirate code.

Each code is unique to its captain. Phillips' nine articles are as follows Fox, —5 :. If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the Value of a Piece of Eight, he shall be marooned or shot. If any time we shall meet another Marooner that Man shall sign his Articles without the Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.

That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke Tobacco in the Hold, without a Cap to his Pipe, or carry a Candle lighted without a Lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article. That Man shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and the Company shall think fit.

If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer present Death. While some pirates swore in their code on a Bible, apparently Phillips' men did so on a hatchet! John Quelch flew the Flag of St. George—dragon-slayer and patron saint of England. Public Domain. While Quelch is often said to have flown the same flag as John Phillips, this is likely a myth. Evidence suggests that Quelch flew the Flag of St.

George pictured above or a privateer-style variant thereof. Though he was a fairly successful pirate, Quelch's career only lasted a year. He is mainly remembered by history as the first person tried for piracy under Admiralty Law outside of England i. Admiralty courts were designed as a way to combat the rise of piracy in colonial ports where no other legal system seemed to be working. Quelch was found guilty and sentenced to hang. Allegedly, he tipped his hat and bowed to his spectators from the gallows.

Edward Low's flag was particularly creepy—especially considering the pirate's penchant for brutality. Because of this, although, like pirate ships, Spanish coast guard vessels and privateers were almost always stronger than the merchant ships they attacked, merchant ships may have been more willing to attempt resisting these "legitimate" attackers than their piratical counterparts. To achieve their goal of taking prizes without a costly fight, it was therefore important for pirates to distinguish themselves from these other ships also taking prizes on the seas.

Flying a Jolly Roger was a reliable way of proving oneself a pirate. Just possessing or using a Jolly Roger was considered proof that one was a criminal pirate rather than something more legitimate; only a pirate would dare fly the Jolly Roger, as he was already under threat of execution.

Following the introduction of submarines in several navies circa , Admiral Sir Arthur Wilson , the First Sea Lord of the British Royal Navy , stated that submarines were "underhanded, unfair, and damned un-English", and that he would convince the British Admiralty to have the crews of enemy submarines captured during wartime hanged as pirates.

The practice restarted during World War II. In October , following a successful patrol by HMS Osiris , during which she sank the Italian destroyer Palestro , the submarine returned to Alexandria , but was ordered to remain outside the boom net until the motorboat assigned to the leader of the 1st Submarine Flotilla had come alongside. Symbols on the flag indicated the history of the submarine, and it was the responsibility of the boat's personnel to keep the flag updated.

The practice, while commonly associated with British submarines, is not restricted to them. Seabee Battalions 1, 3, 4, 7, 11, 74, , and all sent detachments of men and equipment to get the job done. Those detachments dubbed themselves the Ghost Battalion and chose the Jolly Roger for the Battalion's colours. Three distinct U. While these are distinctly different squadrons that have no lineal linkage, they all share the same Jolly Roger name, the skull and crossbones insignia and traditions.

At least twice in , the USS Jimmy Carter , an American attack submarine modified to support special forces operations, returned to its home port flying a Jolly Roger. Kidd , not for William Kidd. The " Golden Age of Piracy " was over by the midth century, and piracy was widely suppressed by the s, although the problem of Barbary pirates persisted until the French conquest of Algeria in By the Victorian era , the pirate threat had receded enough for it to become a topos of boyish adventure fiction, notably influenced by Robert Louis Stevenson 's adventure novel Treasure Island Gilbert and Sullivan's comic opera The Pirates of Penzance which debuted in 31 December introduced pirates as comedic characters, and since the later 20th century, pirates sporting the Jolly Roger flag were often depicted as cartoonish or silly characters.

Barrie also used it as the name of Captain Hook 's pirate ship in Peter and Wendy play and novel ; it was thus used in most adaptations of the character, including ABC 's television series Once Upon a Time In the film The Island , the Jolly Roger is a skull with a red dot and crossbones with an hourglass on the bottom. The cover of indie rock band Half Man Half Biscuit 's album Achtung Bono shows a stylised Jolly Roger, featuring a grinning skull adorned with sunglasses and a halo.

The cover of Iron Maiden 's album A Matter of Life and Death includes a version of a Jolly Roger depicting a helmeted Eddie and two assault rifles instead of bones, hanging from a tank. On the cover of Michael Jackson 's album Dangerous , the Jolly Roger can be seen on the left side with the alteration of a skull over two swords. This was based on Mustaine's original drawing for the cover which the band did not have enough money to produce at the time.

The "pirate" German metal band Running Wild often references the Jolly Roger and other pirate related themes in their music. Their third album is named Under Jolly Roger. Another "pirate" metal band Alestorm also uses Jolly Roger and other pirate related themes in their music. One of the best known in current use is the National Football League 's Tampa Bay Buccaneers ' adaptation of Calico Jack 's pirate flag, with a carnelian red background instead of black, and an American football positioned over the intersection of two crossed swords.

The supporters of FC St. Pauli , a sports club from Hamburg , Germany best known for its association football team, have adopted a variation of Richard Worley's flag as their own unofficial emblem. Another such variation is the Las Vegas Raiders ', which depicts a head with facial features, wearing an eye patch and a helmet, and crossed swords behind the helmet.

This particular variation includes an earringed and eyepatch -wearing skull donning a tricorn of purple and gold the school's colours emblazoned over two crossbones. This logo appears on the helmets of the school's football team, and an elaborate pre-game ritual takes place prior to each home contest wherein a flag bearing the university's Jolly Roger logo is raised on a special flagpole located behind the west end zone prior to the opening kickoff.

Immediately prior to the start of the fourth quarter, the normal black Jolly Roger is lowered and replaced with a flag bearing the ECU Jolly Roger on a red background, indicating that the Pirates will grant their opponents " no quarter ". The Blackshirts , the starting defensive unit players for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team, are represented by a Jolly Roger, somewhat similar to Richard Worley 's flag but with the skull encased in the team's football helmet.

Additionally, the players and fans often celebrate by "throwing the bones", where they cross the forearms in front of the chest in an 'X' imitating the logo, and the student section at Memorial Stadium, Lincoln is known as the 'Boneyard', where the logo is often displayed on banners, signs, and flags in an act of intimidation.

When Viktor Korchnoi opposed Anatoly Karpov for the World Chess Championship , he was a defector from the Soviet Union and momentarily stateless; so he played with a miniature Jolly Roger at the chess table. The early development team of the Apple Macintosh used a pirate flag to portray a "rebellious" spirit.

Before changing to a stylized "P", Sweden's Pirate Party used the Jolly Roger as its symbol, which is still used extensively in the Pirate movement. The flag of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is modelled to look like a classic Jolly Roger, with some alterations.

The flag depicts a whale and a dolphin on the skull's forehead, and the crossed long-bones are replaced with a crossed trident and a shepherd's crook. Ozlock Con, a conference about physical security, uses a logo inspired by the Jolly Roger. The skull is a lock and the bones are lockpicks. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Pirate flag. For other uses, see Jolly Roger disambiguation. Further information: Skull and crossbones military and Totenkopf.

One of Roberts' several flags described in the Boston Gazette, depicting a skull and a sword. Flag of Captain Napin. Flag of Olivier Levasseur. Further information: Use of the Jolly Roger by submarines and Skull and crossbones military. Further information: Pirates in popular culture. ISBN Spriggs' Jolly Roger is described as follows: "a black Ensign was made, which they called Jolly Roger , with the same device that Captain Low carried, viz.

OED Online. Oxford University Press. June It was the third week of July , and England was about to be attacked by the Islamic corsairs of Barbary. Archived January 21, , at the Wayback Machine : "And we put down our white flag, and raised a red flag with a Skull head on it and two crossed bones all in white and in the middle of the flag , and then we marched on.

Archived from the original on Retrieved Some of these flags are verified by contemporary accounts such as Johnson's. As to Low's flag, for instance, Johnson writes, "Low goes aboard of this ship, [the Merry Christmas ], assumes the title of admiral, and hoists a black flag, with the figure of death in red, at the main-topmast head.

Likewise, Bartholomew Roberts' flag is described in the same edition of Johnson, p. Kennedy's flag is as described by one of his victims, Captain J. Evans of the Greyhound Galley , according to a letter written to Johnson in the second edition of the History , on p.

For Wynn's flag, see the preceding footnote. Ed Foxe believes that the versions of the latter six pirates' Jolly Rogers shown in the secondary sources are taken from an undated, unsourced manuscript in Britain's National Maritime Museum. Black versions appear in Botting, p. Johnson , p. Stephens BBC News. Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis.

Retrieved 29 July There was no other way to approach an enemy or victim on the open sea if they did not want to fight. Black Bart. Cordingly cites only one source for pages — of his text: Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, America and West Indies , volumes —20, no. Since pirates were criminals anyway, for them, flying the Jolly Roger was costless.

If they were captured and found guilty, the penalty they faced was the same whether they used the Jolly Roger in taking merchant ships or not — the hangman's noose For legitimate ships, however, things were different.

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