The Somali Pirate Flag

The Somali pirate flag is a colorful blue and white flag with a skull and crossbones. The skull and crossbones are the emblem of the infamous pirate Somaliland clan called the Majeerteen, which is one of the most powerful sub-clans in modern-day Somalia. The Majeerteen are one of the most prolific pirate groups in the world. They have seized dozens of ships and millions in ransom money from shipping companies. The pirates usually target ships with crews from Africa and Asia that are traveling through the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and Somali territorial waters.

Dr Sarah Craze, who recently completed her PhD on the 2008-2012 piracy epidemic in Somalia, has studied how pirates chose their colors and other aspects of their flags. She has found that they did not follow a traditional seafaring tradition. The choice of color, blue and white, is probably a reflection of the fact that these were the colors in use on the UN flag when Somalia gained independence. They also

he Somali Pirate Flag: Symbolism and History of the Jolly Roger

The main motive of the pirates is a mixture of entrepreneurialism and survival, says Iqbal Jhazbhay, an expert on Somalia at the University of South Africa in Pretoria (known as Tshwane). They are trying to make a living from armed extortion. They have used the proceeds of captured ships to buy weapons and boats. In addition, the pirates distribute some of the money among their families and friends and outward toward fellow clan members.