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Each pirate captain had a differently designed Jolly Roger . The flags would
mostly show symbols of death and destruction. The tombstones a Melrose abby
have the same symboles. The name "Jolly Roger" is thought to have originated
from a nickname for the devil, "Old Roger". Probally got its name from the
French words for "pretty red", "Jolie Rouge". The classic design, skull and
crossbones, was used to indicate in the captain's log the death of a sailor.
Is this is origin of the actual appearance of the Jolly Roger.
A Black Jolly Roger meant we will take prisoners a red one 'No Quarter'
Pirates are often shown as social revolutionaries fighting social injustice
in a time of rebellion. In these stories crime and tyranny justified crime
Another way to describe pirates was to take a specific historic pirate and
subjectively colour him in a way so that he looked quite justified in his
deeds. Some of the pirates were rightfully depicted as soldiers- hired by a
legal government. In this way, even the worst deeds were justified as "acts
Some were forced into piracy, being refugees from justice. Some tried to
create legal governments and give themselves the right to plunder, rob and
kill others (Maurice Beniowski self-proclaimed king of Madagascar). They
could not find a place within the social system of the day. The sea
belonged to nobody and, especially before 17 century, there was no
international jurisdiction to cover piracy. Sir Francis Drake for instance
was a Privateer to Englishmen a Pirate to others.
A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, they take turns telling of their
adventures at. The seaman sees the pirate's peg-leg, hook, and eye patch. He
enquires , "So, how did you get the peg-leg?"
The pirate says "We was caught in a storm off the Cape and a behemoth wave
swept me overboard.. They was pullin' me out a shark appeared and bit me
"Blimey!" the seaman.says "What about the hook"?
The pirate answers , "We was boardin' a trader ship, guns 'blastin' and
swords swingin' everywhere. In the fracas me hand got chopped off."
The seaman. "And how came ye by the eye patch"?
"A seagull shit into me eye," answered the pirate.
"Ye lost your eye to seagull shit?" the sailor wondered.
the pirate explained, " was me first day with the hook."
----- Original Message -----
From: "John S. Quarterman"
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