The Black flies over Nassau. This flag was used by Charles Vane's crew after the destruction of Charles Town.

"Get the orders to the Ranger. Tell her to raise the Black...and fire two shots over our bow."
James Flint to Hal Gates[src]

The Black is any of various flags flown to identify a ship's crew as pirates that were about to attack.


The black flags were meant to strike mortal terror in the hearts of pirates' intended victims. They often featured skeletons, daggers, cutlasses, or bleeding hearts. The skull and crossbones motif first appeared around 1700 when French pirate, Emanuel Wynn, hoisted his fearful ensign in the Caribbean; Wynn's flag was further emblazoned with an hour-glass to show his prey that their time was running out.

Flint's flag

The flag of the Walrus.

Various pirate captains flew very different versions of the black flag. The flag used by Captain James Flint was black with the white skeleton holding a sword and an hour-glass. The flag used by the crew of the Ranger was black with the red skeleton. Edward Low's crew used the same flag on the Fancy. Captain Hornigold's flag was black with two crossed cutlasses. Captain Hallendale's flag showed three swords. Blackbeard's flag showed a skeleton with horns holding an spear in one hand and hourglass in the other that is pointing to a heart dripping three blood drops.


Captain Rackham's first flag.



Captain Rackham's second flag.


  • In real-world history, the pirate flag was known as Jolly Roger, but that name was first used during the 1720s, a few years after the events of the series.