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Black flag   /blæk flæg/   Listen
Black flag

A flag usually bearing a white skull and crossbones on a black background; indicates a pirate ship.  Synonyms: blackjack, Jolly Roger, pirate flag.

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Black flag" Quotes from Famous Books

... evening sun, shining through my larches, showed the paint still fresh—in more or less accurate design in black, the emblem of a skull and cross-bones. Above her, supported by a short staff, perhaps cut from my own willows, flew a black flag, and whatever may have been her stern-chaser equipment, her broadside batteries, or her deck carronades—none of which I could well make out, as her hull lay half concealed among the alders—her bow-chaser was certainly in commission and manned for action. ...
— The Lady and the Pirate - Being the Plain Tale of a Diligent Pirate and a Fair Captive • Emerson Hough

... there came sinister vessels that sneaked furtively among the fleet. A little black flag flew from the foretopmast stay of these ugly visitors, and that was a sign that tobacco and spirits were on sale aboard. The smacksmen went for tobacco, which is a necessity of life to them; but the clever Dutchmen soon contrived to introduce other wares. ...
— The Chequers - Being the Natural History of a Public-House, Set Forth in - a Loafer's Diary • James Runciman

... reading? 'twas jauntleman in ruffles, And Patrick's bell she was ringing all in muffles; She was ringing very sorry, her tongue tied up with rag, Lorsha! and out of her shteeple there was hung a black flag.[4] Sing, och, &c. ...
— Poems (Volume II.) • Jonathan Swift

... houses destroyed. The buildings that remained seemed to have given up the struggle and abandoned themselves to inevitable degradation. Moreover, down the principal street, at every other door there hung the sinister black flag, a piece of dirty black cloth fastened to a stick, and upon the filthy wall was scrawled in Russian "cholera." Dead, indeed, under the appalling heat of the morning the whole place lay. No one was to be seen until we neared the ruins of what had once been a little town-hall or ...
— The Dark Forest • Hugh Walpole

... suggested that war had its amenities and refinements and that in the nineteenth century it was simply barbarism to talk of a black flag. ...
— The Story of Cole Younger, by Himself • Cole Younger

... hour and a-half, when, her commander being killed, she struck. Captain Ogle then steered in for the bay, with the pirate's colours hoisted over the king's. This stratagem succeeded, for the pirates, seeing the black flag uppermost, concluded that the king's ship had been taken, and stood out to sea to meet and congratulate their consort on his victory. Their joy was of short duration, for no sooner did they come alongside the Swallow than Captain Ogle, throwing off the deception, opened his broadsides upon them. ...
— How Britannia Came to Rule the Waves - Updated to 1900 • W.H.G. Kingston

... to know how many of a following he would have had from sedate academic circles had he been given his heart's desire and had sailed down the Clyde with the raw head and bloody bones showing on the black flag that flew at his mast-head. How many of us are there with whom law-abiding habits, decorous respectability, form but a thin covering of ice over unplumbed depths of lawless desire? Not long since, when ...
— Stories of the Border Marches • John Lang and Jean Lang

... own heart, prepared to go to any lengths to attain his object, and fully persuaded that the end justifies the means. His plan was startlingly simple and bold. Li Hung Chang, the only prominent advocate of peace, was to rebel, march on Peking with his Black Flag army, and establish a Government of his own. There is no doubt whatever that this scheme was formed and impressed on Li Hung Chang as the acme of wisdom. More than that, it was supported by two other Foreign Ministers at Peking, with ...
— The Life of Gordon, Volume II • Demetrius Charles Boulger

... still lay where she had anchored; but, sure enough, there was the Jolly Roger—the black flag of piracy—flying from her peak. Even as I looked, there came another red flash and another report that sent the echoes clattering, and one more round-shot whistled through the air. It was ...
— Treasure Island • Robert Louis Stevenson

... mismanagement in combating it, for the inspectors were often ignorant men, and no compensation was paid for slaughter, so that farmers often sold off most of their diseased stock before hoisting the black flag. The ravages of the disease in the London cow-houses was fearful, as might be expected, and they are said to have been left empty; by no means an unmixed evil, as the keeping of cow-houses in towns was a glaring ...
— A Short History of English Agriculture • W. H. R. Curtler

... out its enormous sound. The nahas—the brazen wardrums— would summon, with their weird rolling, the whole host to arms. The green flag and the red flag and the black flag would rise over the multitude. The great army would move forward, coloured, glistening, dark, violent, proud, beautiful. The drunkenness, the madness of religion would blaze on every face; and the Mahdi, immovable on his ...
— Eminent Victorians • Lytton Strachey

... that battled for his soul. Back and forth in the arena of his consciousness strove the combatants, while he rushed irresolutely to and fro, now bearing the banner of the powers of light, now waving aloft, though with sinking heart, the black flag of the carnal host. For a while after his arrival in Simiti he had seemed to rise rapidly into the consciousness of good as all-in-all. But the strain which had been constantly upon him had prevented the full recognition of all that Carmen saw, and each rise was followed ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... Holmes arrived upon deck he seized his glass, and, gazing intently through it for a moment, perceived that the faithful Shem had not deceived him. Flying at half-mast from a rude, roughly hewn pole set upon a rocky height was the black flag, emblem of piracy, and, as Artemus Ward put it, "with the second joints reversed." It was in very truth a signal ...
— The Pursuit of the House-Boat • John Kendrick Bangs

... ignorance and intelligence, crime and godliness, and morality and immorality; however, that part of Texas which lays near the Mexican border has become contaminated to a great degree by these Mexican "dupes" who follow the black flag of Romanism; but the difference in character, in manhood, in womanhood, in intelligence and everything which distinguishes right from wrong is so marked and so plain that one does not have to look ...
— Thirty Years In Hell - Or, From Darkness to Light • Bernard Fresenborg

... on an expansive black flag-stone, in the far corner of the church-yard—it is still there—upon several ancestral members of the family of Lowe, who slept beneath 'in hope,' as the stone-cutter informed the upper world; and musing, as sad men will, upon ...
— The House by the Church-Yard • J. Sheridan Le Fanu

... sent out to explore might not run the chance of being lost in the antarctic snows without having some place to which they could retreat. The "depots" were to be marked as rapidly as they were made with tall bamboo poles, each of which bore a black flag. ...
— The Boy Aviators' Polar Dash - Or - Facing Death in the Antarctic • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... old pony-food depot, Safety Camp, during the forenoon of September 9, and dug out the stores and bales of compressed hay, which we carefully tallied and marked by setting up a large black flag. Then we continued towards Corner Camp. We covered only eight or nine miles this second day on account of spending much time in digging out the depot at Safety Camp. The temperature seemed to fall as we advanced into the Barrier, and this night ...
— South with Scott • Edward R. G. R. Evans

Words linked to "Black flag" :   skull and crossbones, flag, pirate flag

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