Pirate Flags
By Alison Cole
√ Updated: September 14, 2010

pirate symbolsWhen a pirate’s flag was seen, it struck fear into the hearts of prospective victims. Many gave up as soon as they saw the flag. The early pirates flew a red flag, presumably as a warning not to oppose or fight back. This was known as the Bloody Flag and it was flown along with the national flag of their country. Pirates raised the black flag if the vessel under attack showed resistance and it sent out a clear warning that “no quarter would be given”.

Pirates used symbols as part of their strategy to instill fear. Skeletons, flaming swords, and hourglasses were among their favorite symbols. The most popular was the “Jolly Roger”, a white skull-and-crossbones on a black background. This was probably derived from the French flag known as “Jolie Rouge” or “rouge laws” in England which were meant for dealing with thieves and vagabonds. The word Roger could have originated from this. Or, the name could have even come from the very macho concept of the raging bull as Roger was a name commonly given by the English to their stud bull.

The skull-and-crossbones symbol was the symbol of death. Associated symbols like the raised glass could have meant that the pirate was toasting death, while dancing skeletons meant flirting with death. Sometimes, two or three symbols were used together.

pirate flag symbolsThe much-feared Blackbeard flag had a horned skeleton holding an hourglass and a spear next to a bleeding heart. Along with the skull-and-crossbones flag, Bartholomew Roberts had a complex flag showing a pirate holding an hourglass alongside a skeleton clutching a spear. These symbols could have reflected the feelings of the pirates as well as the fear they wished to evoke.

Today the Jolly Roger has become a symbol of adventure and possibly the most recognizable symbol of piracy. But behind the mask of adventure on the high seas, lies many a tale of horror and bloodshed!

Ships were altered to make space for guns, and the expression “making her flush,” meant removing and adjusting the ship to make room for fighting. Extra guns were fitted by piercing the hull, while timber made the ship stronger to handle the extra weaponry. Swivel guns were mounted on gunwales for easy operation.

Modern pirate ships are swifter and outfitted with high-tech equipment. It is suspected that they use satellites to spy on cargo ships and tankers. They have modern artillery, and accessories like scooters and smaller vessels that allow them to attack and get back to the main ship. They are quieter and do not announce their coming, much unlike a 17th century ship that proudly set up sail that made ships surrender out of fear! Pirates provides detailed information on Pirate, Pirate Costumers, Pirate Ship, Pirate Flags and more. Pirates is affiliated with School Playground Equipment.

Article Source: Pirate Flags

Learn More About Pirates

Take a look at these recommended books on pirates from Amazon:
Treasure Island (Signet Classics)
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC (children's book)
Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates
Pirates (Magic Tree House Children's Book)


Pirate Ship
By Alison Cole

The ship sails billowing in the distance spread panic across the seas. The skull-and-crossbones flags were enough to strike terror in the bravest of hearts. As the ships drew nearer, so did images of flashing swords, plunder and bloodshed.

The ships that pirates used were stolen or obtained in a mutiny. Some were even acquired from privateers as these ships were fast and specially designed for the purpose of pursuit. A pirate could command several ships, the most famous multi-ship pirate being Bartholomew Roberts, who owned six ships through his colorful career.

pirate ship symbolA pirate ship was an interesting place to be in. It was a place where they lived, and it was always battle-ready! Though the crew lived together, there were special cabins for the captain and the quartermaster. The ship also had a storeroom where the booty was kept. It carried plenty of weapons and it was oh, so fast! Though some pirates used large ships, many preferred the faster sloops, brigantines and schooners.

Schooners were two-masted ships with narrow hulls and large spread of sail that made them fast, sometimes going over 11 knots.

The brigantine had a foremast, usually with square-rigged sails. The main masts with a fore-and-aft and square-rigged topsail could move in any wind condition. It was about 80 feet long, 150 tons and could carry up to 100 men and 12 guns.

The sloops were small, single-masted craft with an enormous sail spread which made them fast and agile. In the Caribbean, sloops were popular for their speed and ability to enter shallow waters, where larger battleships could not chase them. These vessels were also easy to remove barnacles from and were easy to keep in fighting fit shape. Warships, battleships and frigates became popular because of their weapon-carrying ability. Pirates provides detailed information on Pirate, Pirate Costumers, Pirate Ship, Pirate Flags and more. Pirates is affiliated with School Playground Equipment.

Article Source: Pirate Ship

Learn More About Pirates

Take a look at these recommended books on pirates from Amazon:
Treasure Island (Signet Classics)
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC (children's book)
Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates
Pirates (Magic Tree House Children's Book)

 

Symbols of Anarchy
By Frank Loethen

There are many symbols of anarchism including cats that have been used over the years to identify and rally supporters for a cause. The cause is usually a protest or political movement against current conditions. With the increase in anti-globalization recently, the symbols of anarchy are starting to reappear.

The black cat was designed by Ralph Chaplin, a prominent figure of the IWW, also known as the Wobblies. The movement started in 1905 and continued through the early 1920's until it was suppressed by the Justice Department under J. Edgar Hoover. It signified wildcat strikes and radical unionism. The symbol has also been associated with witchcraft, bad omens and death.

The black flag has been a symbol of anarchy since the 1880s. It symbolizes defiance and opposition to surrender. The flag has been used by groups opposed to representation. The black flag has also been used in many protests against oppression. It was used by pirates to indicate the lives of a crew would be spared if they surrendered. It was also used during the French and Russian Revolutions by certain protest groups. It is still used today by anarchical movements.

pirate symbolThe circled A, where the A stands for anarchy, is one of the best known present day symbols. It was developed by Giuseppe Fanelli, a Freemason, in 1868 and later adopted as a symbol of anarchy. The symbol became a part of the punk rock movement in the 1970's. It was used by the band, Sex Pistols, to signify the punk rock style of music. Although used as a marketing ploy, it increased the awareness of anarchy.

The black cross is a symbol representing a movement to eliminate all prisons. The symbol originated in Russia to support political prisoners. It was adopted by anarchists to signify unity of purpose. The cross was modified from the symbol for the Red Cross to avoid confusion with the Red Cross. It has been associated with black power, women's lib, youth power and the American Indian Movement.

Known as a symbol of piracy, the jolly roger or the skull and cross bones has gained popularity as a symbol of anarchy. Originally used by the Libertarian pirates, it signifies a pirate's way of life free from repressive societies. It has gained popularity with many anarchical movements.

The anarchist symbol, circled A, with a V represents the political philosophy of animal liberation. The philosophy also known as veganism excludes the use of animals for food, clothing or other uses. It was popularized in 1995 by Brian Dominick and is used by animal rights groups. People who actively support this movement are against killing any animal and have strict vegetarian diets.

black rose symbolOther symbols of anarchy not shown above are the wooden shoe, black rose and bisected flags and stars. Each symbol has been used to represent a political movement or protest throughout the world. Depending on the cause, an organization will adapt or create a symbol that best represents it's philosophy. (Image courtesy of ZenCopain, Wikimedia Commons)

Frank Loethen - live in Georgia with wife and three cats. If you enjoyed this article, please visit my cat products website, http://www.purrfectcatproducts.com, for all your cat and kitten needs. Cat toys, cat treats, cat beds and litter accessories are among the many items on the site.

Article Source: Symbols of Anarchy

Learn More About Pirates

Take a look at these recommended books on pirates from Amazon:
Treasure Island (Signet Classics)
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC (children's book)
Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion
The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates
Pirates (Magic Tree House Children's Book)

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