"Hoist the Colors"

Were there real pirate flags? Yes! They were not ancient myths orlegends! Pirate flags were not introduced in pirate movies! Pirateflags were not the figments of imagination from writers like RobertLouis Stevenson who wrote Treasure Island. Pirates flew real pirateflags! The real pirate flags were customised for a specific piratecaptain and crew such as the real pirate flags flown by Blackbeard andCalico Jack Rackham. Every pirate ship wanted to fly its own version ofa pirate flag! Pirate Flags History The most famous of the pirate flagswas the 'Jolly Roger' but there were many other different designs andpirate flags. Flags were used by legitimate sailing vessels. During thegreat age of exploration it was imperative to be able to distinguishenemy ships from friendly ships. The Elizabethan English ships sailedwith flags showing the National emblem such as the Tudor Rose whilstthe Spanish ships were distinguished by Catholic crosses. The historyof flags developed and National flags were adopted. Pirates had theirown Code of Conduct and their own traditions. Adopting their own pirateflags was a natural progression in the pirate culture and history. Thepirate flags were used to wage 'Psychological warfare' on theirenemies. Pirate flags were designed to threaten, intimidate and spreadfear & dread amongst all that encountered the pirate. Pirate flagshistory was an important element in building the fearsome reputation ofthe pirate vessels. The Colors of Pirate Flags - the Red Pirate Flagsand the Black Pirate flags The background colors of real pirate flagswere either red or black. Although black is most associated with pirateflags, the very first pirate flags were in fact red! The colors of redand black both held symbolic significance. The early pirates sailedunder the Red Flags. The color red in pirate flags symbolisedbloodshed. Red pirate flags also symbolised a warning. The red pirateflags were a symbol that little or no quarter ( mercy ) would be given.The pirates were looking for an early surrender and an easy conquestthrough fear and intimidation. The French name for the red flag was theJolie Rouge ( a cynical term translated as Pretty Red ). The red pirateflags were quickly replaced by black pirate flags. It was a naturalprogression for the pirates. The color black symbolised death. Blackflags were traditionally flown on Plague ships as a warning to otherships. The pirates flew under flags called the 'banner of King Death'.The black and red pirate flags were further embellished with moregraphic symbols of death... Pirate Skull Flags - the Skull andCrossbones The pirate flags were designed to threaten, intimidate andspread fear & dread amongst all that encountered the pirate ships.The black pirate flags were further embellished by other graphicsymbols of death and destruction: The Skull Crossed bones - crossbonesA Skeleton Spears Swords Cutlass An Hourglass ( indicating the enemiestime was up) Clothing or Apparel associated with pirates and theinitials of the Pirate captain Pirates believed to be those flying the"skull and crossbones" were Edward England and Edward Teach -Blackbeard. A skull and crossbones is still a modern symbol used as awarning for something that is dangerous or deadly, usually poison.

Jolly Roger Pirate Flags
The Jolly Roger is the general name given to pirate flags. The Jolly Roger is the most famous of all pirate flags.
Description of the Jolly Roger Pirate flag...
Black Background
White graphic on the center of the black flag picturing a white skull
Underneath the skull are two crossed bones (crossbones)
The Jolly Roger pirate flags are also called the Skull and Crossbones
Thereare a number of theories about the origin of the Jolly Roger name - thetruth is that its probably a combination of most of them!
The Jolly Roger was derived from the English pronunciation of the 'Jolie Rouge'
The Jolly Roger was a derivation of word rogue describing a vagabond, beggar or thief
The Jolly Roger was a derivation of the English colloquialism 'Old Roger' which was an English slang term for the Devil

The Pirate Flags of Calico Jack Rackham
The Pirate flags of Calico Jack Rackham included the picture of a skull with crossed cutlasses on a black background.
The Pirate Flags of John Avery ( aka Avary )
Thepirate flags of John Avery (AKA Every, Long Ben) the included the skulland crossbones. The skull was further embellished with an earring and abandana which was strongly associated with traditional Pirate Clothing.

The Pirate Flags of Blackbeard
Blackbeardis one of the most famous and notorious pirates of all time. His pirateflag featured a skeleton holding an hourglass in one hand, a spear inthe other hand standing beside a bleeding heart.

The Flag of the U.T.B.F. Created again for those that are in the brotherhood and seek Freedom!!

~Capt'n. Gabriel Black

Posted by Under The Black Flag on 3:32 μ.μ.. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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