Pirate History

After you buy a pirate flag its good to know your pirate history. The history of pirating is long and fascinating takes up many books. In fact a lot of books, stories and movies including Treasure Island, Peter Pan and Captain Hook and the Pirates of the Caribbean have turned some historical pirates into famous pirate legends. The following is a brief history of piracy throughout the ages.

Pirates are groups of sailors who attack ships and plunder the booty. Another term that is sometimes used in place of Pirate is Privateer. Privateers are not technically considered true pirates because they were given special letters from their host nation allowing them to attack ships from other countries. However, in reality privateers acted and were treated as pirates when captured. Piracy has been around thousands of years, ever since man was able sail the seas and trade goods to other colonies. Pirates have plundered ships in the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic Coast, and the Orient to name a few notable spots and there have been many eras throughout history where pirates have been remarkably successful - for example the Viking ages, Muslim pirates of the 8th century, pirating in India during the 16th Century and Japan in the 13th century. However, in popular culture the most notable age of piracy occurred during the 15th century to the 17th century and is known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Included during this era were the Buccaneer's of the 17th Century who attacked Spanish ships sailing through the Caribbean and the pirates who settled on the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Some of the most famous pirates come from the Golden Age of Piracy. They include such well known pirates as Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart), Edward Teach (Blackbeard), Henry Every, Henry Morgan, Captain Kidd, Calico Jack Rackham and Edward Low to name a few. Many of these pirates flew customized Jolly Roger or Skull and Crossbones flags that have become classic symbols of piracy. In fact many of these flags are available for sale online on this website. An example of the pirate flag of Black Bart is shown below:  Click the image to purchase this pirate flag.

Many pirates were initially sailors in a marine navy or merchant ship. These sailors were routinely treated very poorly and given low wages. Tired of such treatment many saw piracy as a viable alternative. It is interesting to note that many of these ships sailing under a country flag were actually pirating and looting treasure from other less developed nations. However, since it was done under the authority of the nation it was not seen by the public as actual piracy. In the 16th century many of these pirate crews began setting out a pirate code in order to remedy some of the harsh treatment and problems that they had experienced working for the navy or merchant ships. A pirate code was developed for the ship and generally set out a system for electing the crew leaders and captain, the terms of service and how the treasure was to be divided. Some pirate crews even had a system of compensation for injuries sustained while in the service of the pirate boat. For example if a pirate lost an eye he would receive compensation for his injury according to the articles of service entered into. Also, contrary to popular belief, pirates during the Golden Age of Piracy divided their treasure quite fairly. It has been noted that being on a pirate boat was one of the most egalitarian employment opportunities of the time. However, being a pirate certainly had its risks and being caught pirating was a sure fire way to guarantee a rope hanging.

Another sample of the pirate flag of Christopher Moody. Click this image to buy this pirate flag:

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