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Thonys

The black Flag(s)

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Posted (edited)

Some history on the black flag and their meaning. at some given time ....symbols mean something

When wars ended, naval men and privateers found themselves with too much free time and not enough money. These unemployed men turned to piracy. So These pirates desired a new type of flag to fly their ships. Originally, they adopted the flag that privateers had always used: the simple red flag.
Screen-Shot-2015-05-19-at-3.47.29-PM.png
 
The red flag was a symbol for blood and acted as a warning. It told enemy ships that, if they lost, no quarter (mercy) would be shown on them. The red flag was a vicious symbol of piracy and was the most common flag during the early years of Piracy.
moody_flag.jpg?height=150&width=200
 
Pirate flag of : christopher moody , the most vicious pirate captain,  he held no quarter policy  that's why the flag is red 
 
Slowly, pirate captains abandoned the red flag for the much more infamous black flag. Black was chosen because the color was associated with death. Black first became associated with death after the Black Plague. Ships carrying passengers infested with the plague flew a yellow and black checked flag to warn other vessels against approaching.
plague.jpg?height=142&width=200
  The plague flag flown over infested ships 
 
 
The symbolic  black flag was actually a more welcoming site than the red flag to other vessels. When the black flag was shown, it meant that if the other ship surrendered, quarter (mercy) would be shown to those on board. This became a tactic of captains because pirate vessels could only fight so many battles. Often, the vessels were smaller, had less weapons, and less men than the vessels that they were attempting to take control of. This left the pirates at a disadvantage. But if a pirate could scare an enemy into surrendering with the promise of quarter, no battle would have to be fought.
 
Pirate captains gained a reputation. Some gained the reputation of being a brutal and fearless fighters, others gained the reputation of being kind to captives, others gained both. If a vessel saw the flag of a brutal captain, they were more likely to surrender than fight a losing battle. If a vessel saw the flag of a kinder captain, they were more likely to surrender to live another day rather than flipping the coin in a battle.
 
Either way, the flag was (also) a psychological weapon. Just to scare other ships into surrendering. If the other ship did not surrender, their crew would at least be shaken with the fear of facing doom.
 
 
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Each captain had their own distinct flag here are some examples, but there where many more of them .
 
The Black Flag 
Also their was the single Black battle flag at sea
vlag-zwart-60x90cm-budget-kopen.jpg
 
 
when this flag was flown, it means Death of one of the Head officers .and was meant to be a request for pratique in this case at  sea  and a free pass  for burial at the home  land.

a officially recorded incident where the black flag was officially ordered and raised was at the battle agosta 

When Admiral Du Quesne learned that De Ruyter was mortally wounded, he stopped fighting and withdrew his fleet out of respect for the naval hero.(also to be seen in the movie the admiral)

Tribute
Something remarkable happened when "De Eendracht "( ship of the ruyter) "headed for the Republic with the body of De Ruyter from Sicily. In the French cities where the Eendracht passed, salute shots were fired as a tribute to the Dutch sea hero. Louis XIV of France ordered this, while France and the Republic were still at war at the time. 

 

 

 

 
Edited by Thonys
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