Haar haar haar! Shiver me timbers and a barrel of rum!
Note: we promised to post this gallery of Jim Grant’s photos of the recent capture of a pirate off the coast of Ocean Beach today, Friday the 13th – if readers would send in more pirate jokes.
Actually, it could be very appropriate to post these pics on Friday the 13th, because Friday the 13th comes to us from history – the day that the Pope in Rome ordered the arrests and slaughter of the Knights Templar all across Europe.
According to Wikipedia:
Another theory about the origin of the superstition [of Friday the 13th] traces the event to the arrest of the legendary Knights Templar. According to one expert:
The Knights Templar were a monastic military order founded in Jerusalem in 1118 C.E., whose mission was to protect Christian pilgrims during the Crusades. Over the next two centuries, the Knights Templar became extraordinarily powerful and wealthy. Threatened by that power and eager to acquire their wealth, King Philip secretly ordered the mass arrest of all the Knights Templar in France on Friday, October 13, 1307 – Friday the 13th.
The connection between the superstition and the Knights Templar was popularized in the 2003 novel The Da Vinci Code. However, some experts think that it is relatively recent and is a modern-day invention. …
The connection to pirates and the Knights Templar is this: one theory holds that a number of the Knights escaped Europe, and to take revenge, became ship captains with armed crews who raided European ships – and became the pirates of yore.
What about the Jolly Roger – the pirate flag? Here’s Wikipedia again (footnotes excluded):
The Jolly Roger is the name given to any of various flags flown to identify a ship’s crew as pirates. The flag most usually identified as the Jolly Roger today is the skull and crossbones, a flag consisting of a human skull above two long bones set in an x-mark arrangement on a black field. This design was used by several pirates, including Captains Edward England and John Taylor.Some Jolly Roger flags also include an hourglass, another common symbol representing mortality and death in 17th and 18th Century Europe. Despite its prominence in popular culture, plain black flags were often employed by most pirates in the 17th-18th century.Historically, the flag was flown to frighten pirates’ victims into surrendering without a fight, since it conveyed the message that the attackers were outlaws who would not consider themselves bound by the usual rules of engagement—and might, therefore, slaughter those they defeated (since captured pirates were usually hanged, they didn’t have much to gain by asking quarter if defeated). The same message was sometimes conveyed by a red flag, ….
Yo-ho-ho. (Remember to click on the images below for larger versions.)