Review: Rustic Pirate Flag

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Nautical Antiques

Pirate flags today are available everywhere. Polyester flags abound for those on a budget, and nylon for those looking to weather a few storms. The variety is nearly endless – from tradiononal jolly rogers and historical emblems chosen by famous pirates to modern and original designs, there is certainly something for nearly every style and taste.

One market has been notably untapped, though. This would be the person looking for a flag with a more historical “feel” about it. A flag made from course weave cotton, much as the flags of Blackbeard and Calico Jack might have been done. A flag that will age in the sun and carry that true battle-worn, weather-beaten look that seperates the posers from the pirates. And at long last, someone has stepped up to the plate to bring us exactly that.

The Nautical Antique Warehouse in Galveston Texas, is one of my all-time favorite stopping points whenever I’m in the vicinity of the Gulf of Mexico. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend checking it out – the store appears as though the owners plundered every shipwreck in the region, and are offering every ship’s wheel, figurehead, bouy, and other odd and end up for sale. Well worth the visit, but this isn’t a review of the store, it’s of the pirate flag (available for purchase in their store, or online via their website.)

These pirate flags are slightly larger than 2×3 feet, and feature a white cotton skull and crossbones sewn onto a black background. The sewing is clearly machine, but is quick and rough – the seams are unhemmed, as is the edge of the flag. Freyed ends are everywhere, making for a wonderfully authentic seeming flag.

The jolly roger image is sewn onto both sides of the flag, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll have to keep your prey to just your port or starboard for them to get the message. Due to the nature of the sewing, the stitiching is much more prominent and rough on one side than the other, but this won’t be noticeable when the thing is hoisted, being more of a “close inspection” issue. The flag is sleeved, but you could easily add grommets yourself if need be.

Screen-printed rogers on synthetic flags are everywhere these day. If you want to stand apart as the “real deal,” then one of these flags could serve you well.

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