The History of the Jolly Roger Essay example

The History of the Jolly Roger Essay example

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Throughout history, human beings have occasionally crisscrossed large water bodies in ships. While a majority of ships would be characterized as transport vessels, a fraction of them were characterized as hostile owing to the nature of their business at sea, which in essence, was to capture and loot other vessels. Such ships were flow by groups of individuals collectively named as pirates. Pirates were feared enormously especially because of the nefarious deeds they exerted upon their subjects or victims. In essence, rules of engagement that often applied in dissimilar scenarios were thrown out the window if one happened to encounter a pirate ship. More often than not, this meant that no filament of mercy would be shown to the people aboard a captured vessel. Given this reality, one would thus question; how then would a friendly ship distinguish between a potential pirate ship and another friendly vessel? This question perhaps brings the discussion to its core with reference to the subject topic. The only way a captain of another ship would be able to discern that a particular vessel belonged to pirates was in observing the type of flag such a vessel flew. Most pirates usually flew a black flag with an emblem of a white human skull set on crossbones, or as it were, and still is commonly known, the “Jolly Roger.”
Background of the Jolly Roger
It is almost impossible to come across a true account describing the very crux or origin of the Jolly Roger. History offers very little and many historians believe its origin may indeed be lost. However, scattered accounts provide for the placement of the origin of the Jolly Roger from around 1700, when Emanuel Wynne, a French pirate flew it. As indicated before, during the great ages when ...


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...ept employed in their usage of the Jolly Roger was to scare its victims or enemies into submission. One might think that modern times have perhaps eroded the usage of the Jolly Roger. This is not the case; the practice is, on the contrary, very much alive as seen in various army submarines belonging to different nations. Additionally, the term Jolly Roger has also been extended to include army and air force motifs such as those of delta troops or bomb squadrons. Moreover, student outfits such as the Harvard skull and bones clique, and sports outfits such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also adopted various aspects or forms of the Jolly Roger. Of course their usage and meaning is quite the opposite of what pirates practiced. Nevertheless, the Jolly Roger still serves its purpose of identifying between a friend and foe and psychologically instilling terror upon them.

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