The Jolly Roger

Date: Used in the War of 1812

Description: Black field with white skull and cross-bones. [X09]

After the Spaniards conquered a large part of the New World, pirates swarmed the waters around the West Indies. They lay in wait for Spanish ships carrying home gold and silver. Their flag was the Jolly Roger. The flag was designed to strike fear into those who saw it.

Jean LaFitte, the "Pirate of the Gulf", was really a smuggler rather that a pirate. He won the good will of Americans by helping to defend New Orleans from the British in the War of 1812. It is not know if LaFitte ever used this flag.

Visit the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve . . .