Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Pirate Flag

Everyone loves Pirates. What's not to? Especially after Johnny Depp played the exceptional role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. We shall forever think of Johnny's Jack Sparrow as the ultimate pirate going forward. The pirates we've always 'encountered' in today's world are funny, savvy & jolly. Well, if this were a few centuries ago, we'd not think so. Just the presence of a pirate ship out yonder in the ocean, only recognisable by the pirate flag, the sighting of which would invoke the start of chaos and panic that would have made us run for the hills. We'd be terrorised by pirates because if they were in a looting mood, one could kiss everyone and everything good bye.

And everyone knows what a pirate's flag looks like right? We may not recognise flags of different nations, but a pirate flag has been embedded in our memories for as long as we could remember. But what is the pirate flag really and where did it come from?

At the Pirate Soul Museum in Key West, we were treated to the answer. The flag pictured here is one of the only two existing original pirate flags in the world. Next to it the inscription reads:
And this is one of them. It's the popular Jolly Roger design. What's so jolly about it?
Nothing! Like all pirate flags, it was designed to strike terror into its victims' hearts and minds.
The name Jolly Roger probably came from the French words jolie rouge, meaning 'pretty red' and referring to the days when pirate flags were often red. The skull with a pair of crossed bones underneath may have been borrowed from gravestones."


Now not only do you know the origins of the pirate flag, you also know what Jolie stands for in Angelina Jolie (yes it fits, as some of you may know that her mother was French Canadian).


bermudabluez said...

You can find out all KINDS of interesting information in Key West!!! Thanks for the info on the Pirate Flag!

MarkD60 said...

One thing that really really bugged me about the Pirates Of The Caribbean is that Davey Jones is made out to be a bad guy. In reality he's King Neptunes scribe, and he signed my certificate when I crossed the equator the first time on a ship.
He's not a bad guy.


BB: THanks!

Mark: He signed your certificate??? LOL Can I see it?