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Not Just For Pirates – The Jolly Roger Flag

By Jeff Chandler

The Jolly Roger Flag, is the popular flag that symbolizes a pirate ship. Pirates were beggars, or former slaves, and privateers that transformed to a existence of crime when the War of Spanish Succession in 1714 finished. No longer showing the king’s flag, the pirates created their very own flags. The Jolly Roger’s visual appeal consisted of wide range of symbols considered to be employed by pirates which resided during the 17th through 18th century. A skull and crossbones is usually portrayed, but generally there are quite a few versions including those with swords, a full skeleton, and blood. The flag’s backdrop is usually black, but occasionally red. Many historians state solely the black flags were genuine “Jolly Rogers”.

The meaning of the expression “Jolly Roger” has been extensively disputed by historians. The most accepted idea is that it comes from the French phrase “jolie rouge”, meaning pretty red. Roger has been also a term employed in those days which meant “beggar” or “vagrant”. Some other historians say the phrase came from the pirate of Tamil “Ali Raja”, or might only be a term utilized in the old times for the devil, “Old Roger”. They pillaged many regal and aristocratic boats, took gold, jewels, cash, and women of all ages, and offered for sale it on the black market. Several of these people grew to be wealthy and feared by all people sailing the oceans.

The recognition of the Jolly Roger Flag came to exist as the pirates would likely lift the flag to scare their subjects into surrendering without having a battle, which they usually did, realizing their loss of life was impending. Having absolutely nothing to lose through taking lives, the pirates were quick to obliterate, understanding their sentence was witout a doubt death. Pirates like John Teach, otherwise known as “Blackbeard, Edward Low, and Calico Jack Rackham all displayed these frightening insignias.

Despite the fact that the reputation of the Jolly Roger Flag these days could possibly be attributed to songs, publications or movies, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, they’ve always been popularly employed by Royal British and United States Navy. The old skull and crossbones symbols have been used on planes, submarines, and shirt patches. The word “pirating” has grown to be a typical term for stealing motion pictures and audio by no cost downloading instead of paying for it. The symbol has been used on toxins and other chemicals to warn of dangers. Even some athletic teams are named after pirates. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers emblem shows Calico Jack’s famous design. And the Pittsburgh Pirates generally celebrate a win using the term “raise the “Jolly Roger”.

The Jolly Roger Flag is now strung for fun in homes, restaurants, watercraft and watering holes. Theblack flag is displayed in many places and although it’s still recognized to represent pirates and robbing, it has turn into a unique product that many individuals obtain and make use of on their own.

Looking to find the best deal on a Jolly Roger Flag, then visit to find the best deals and prices on Jolly Roger Flags for you.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Chandler, Jeff "Not Just For Pirates – The Jolly Roger Flag." Not Just For Pirates – The Jolly Roger Flag. 2 Jul. 2010. 20 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Chandler, J (2010, July 2). Not Just For Pirates – The Jolly Roger Flag. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Chandler, Jeff "Not Just For Pirates – The Jolly Roger Flag"

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