18th Century Jolly Roger Pirate Flag

Original 18th Century red jolly roger pirate flag

This rare 18th century pirate flag was captured in a battle off the coast of North Africa in 1780 and is on display at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. The red background was the most feared of all as it meant that the pirates would kill anyone they defeated, paying no heed to the usual rules of engagement. Known as the ‘Jolie Rouge’, meaning ‘pretty red’, it is thought the name may have been corrupted into English as Jolly Roger.

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