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A Jolly Roger, also known as a Skull Mark (ドクロのマーク Dokuro no Māku?, often shortened to simply Mark or Skull) or a Symbol (シンボル Shinboru?), is the primary emblem of a pirate crew. It exists in countless variations across the world, distinguishing hundreds—if not thousands—of different crews as well as their respective property, ships, and territories.

Overview

The basic Jolly Roger consists of a human skull above "crossbones"—femurs intersecting at diagonal angles. This design may be expanded and/or modified in any number of ways, usually to reflect the appearance or interests of an individual captain (e.g. the Whitebeard Pirates' bearing Edward Newgate's distinctive mustache, or the Straw Hat Pirates' bearing Monkey D. Luffy's Straw Hat); some variations may even exclude both skull and crossbones, though these typically substitute other violent imagery.[1]

In some cases, a Jolly Roger is designed to send a message, such as the Krieg Pirates Jolly Roger displaying a pair of hourglasses so as to let people know that their time has run out.

While Jolly Rogers are most often placed on the flags and sails of pirate ships (hence "Pirate Flag" (海賊旗 Kaizoku-ki?) being another common synonym), they are also commonly worn by individual pirates, as both clothing designs and body tattoos.

Ideals and Implications

This flag rejects impossibilities! It's the symbol of faith!
— Hiriluk[2]


Luffy protecting someone else’s flag out of respect.

As pirates themselves can vary widely in beliefs, actions, and reputations, the Jolly Roger has been linked with many different—sometimes conflicting—ideas.

For many, the Jolly Roger is nothing more than a symbol of power, showing off a pirate crew's strength to intimidate enemies and victims. Well-established pirates—most notoriously the Four Emperors—have been known to mark entire towns and even islands with their Jolly Roger, deeming such locations their "territories" and promising protection and retribution against outside attack.

More idealistic pirates—and sympathizers—have used the mark to espouse wider principles of freedom, personal conviction, and even friendship. Monkey D. Luffy, for instance, painted a crude replica of the Straw Hat Pirates' Jolly Roger on Laboon after befriending him; on a larger scale, Fisher Tiger's Sun Pirates adopted a sun-like Jolly Roger to obscure the brands on the slaves they routinely freed.

(The Davy Back Fight goes so far as to equate the Jolly Roger with a living crewman, treating it as a fair wager for any game. Its "Articles of Defeat" stipulate that losing a Jolly Roger will forever strip its (former) crew the right to display it—and implicitly allows the winning crew to confiscate any displaying flags, sails, or other equipment.)

Different crews react differently to these ideals. For example, Wapol did not see what was so important about the pirate flag in comparison to Luffy. Donquixote Doflamingo does not like the idea of anyone tarnishing his flag's name and punished Bellamy for losing under it.

Certain individuals, groups, and even nations who understand the ideals of the Jolly Roger, or have turned against ideas of the World Government, also raise the skull and crossbones; an example of this is the former Drum Kingdom, later renamed the Sakura Kingdom, who flew Dr. Hiriluk’s Jolly Roger as their national flag after the fall of Wapol.

Of course, any kind of Jolly Roger tends to be strongly opposed by the Marines and other World Government figures. Though apparently not illegal per se (as the Sakura Kingdom, which uses one as the national flag, is recognized at Levely), its presence on any ship has been known to spark immediate attacks.[3][4]

Smileys

Doflamingo's crossed-out smiley.

Following the introduction of Donquixote Doflamingo, a different type of Jolly Roger has appeared. Rather than the traditional skull and crossbones, the flag is a smiley of a grinning person. The significance of this type of Jolly Roger has yet to be revealed. In some cases, such as Doflamingo's flag and the Human Auctioning House, the smiley has a line painted over it.

While some of the smiling Jolly Rogers are connected to Doflamingo, another smiley has been seen on Whitebeard's life support equipment. Ace also wore two smileys on his hat, one sad and the other happy. The Kid Pirates' secondary Jolly Roger is a smiley style with a stitched-up mouth. The Heart Pirates also have a smiley style Jolly Roger, only this one has 6 branches extending outwards in all directions, as a tribute to Donquixote Rosinante.

Flags

Pirate Crews

Gally Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Straw Hat Pirates Portrait.png
Red Hair Pirates Portrait.png
Roger Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Alvida Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Buggy Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Usopp Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Black Cat Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Krieg Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Cook Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Arlong Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Rumbar Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Giant Warrior Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Bliking Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Roshio Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Bellamy Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Masira Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Shoujou Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Saruyama Alliance's Jolly Roger.png
Blackbeard Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Whitebeard Pirates Portrait.png
Macro Pirates Portrait.png
Fanged Toad Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Foxy Pirates' Former Jolly Roger.png
Foxy Pirates (former symbol)
Foxy Pirates' Current Jolly Roger.png
Foxy Pirates (current symbol)
Thriller Bark's Jolly Roger.png
Kid Pirates Portrait.png
Hawkins Pirates Portrait.png
Drake Pirates Portrait.png
Heart Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
On Air Pirates Portrait.png
Bonney Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Fire Tank Pirates Portrait.png
Fallen Monk Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Kuja Pirates Portrait.png
Sun Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Spade Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Golden Lion Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Brownbeard Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Caribou Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
New Fish-Man Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Gyro Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Flying Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Big Mom Pirates Portrait.png
Donquixote Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Barto Club Jolly Roger.png
A O Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Little Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Beasts Pirates Portrait.png
Beautiful Pirates Jolly Roger.png
Ideo Pirates Jolly Roger.png
Tontatta Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
New Giant Warrior Pirates Portrait.png
Yonta Maria Grand Fleet Portrait.png
Peachbeard Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Rocks Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Takotopus Pirates' Jolly Roger.png

Unnamed Pirate Crews

Puppu's Jolly Roger.png
Puppu's crew
Chess Pirates' Jolly Roger.png
Chesskippa's crew
Goo's Jolly Roger.png
Goo's crew
Decalvan Brothers' Jolly Roger.png
Bizarre's Jolly Roger.png
Bizarre's crew
Blondie's Jolly Roger.png
Blondie's crew
Brew's Jolly Roger.png
Brew's crew
Epoida's Jolly Roger.png
Epoida's crew
Palm's Jolly Roger.png
Palms's crew
Whitey Bay's Jolly Roger.png
Whitey Bay's crew
Ramba's Jolly Roger.png
Ramba's crew
Islewan's Jolly Roger.png
Islewan's crew

Other Organizations

Anime-Only Flags

Personal Jolly Rogers

A few characters sport their own personal Jolly Roger. The reasons for that differ, as do the sources of the flags. While some are exclusively shown in the SBS (members of the Straw Hat Pirates), others appear in the series without further information (like Perona's) or are part of a "what if" scenario (Igaram's nightmare picturing Nefertari Vivi as a pirate).

Straw Hat Pirates

Zoro's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Zoro's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Zoro PJR (PT) OPM.png
Zoro's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Zoro's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Zoro's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Zoro PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Zoro's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Zoro's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger 2.png
Zoro's personal Jolly Roger (Chapter 699).
Nami's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Nami's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Nami PJR (PT) OPM.png
Nami's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Nami's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Nami's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Nami PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Nami's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Usopp's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Usopp's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Usopp PJR (PT) OPM.png
Usopp's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Usopp Alternate Jolly Roger.png
An alternate pre-timeskip personal Jolly Roger for Usopp as depicted in Chapter 507's Cover Page.
Usopp's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Usopp's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Usopp PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Usopp's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Usopp Second Alternate Jolly Roger.png
Another alternate personal Jolly Roger for Usopp as depicted in Chapter 1025's Cover Page.
Sanji's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Sanji's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Sanji PJR (PT) OPM.png
Sanji's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Sanji's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Sanji's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Sanji PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Sanji's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Sakura Kingdom Infobox.png
Chopper's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) and current flag of Sakura Kingdom.
Chopper PJR (PT) OPM.png
Chopper's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Chopper Alternate Jolly Roger.png
An alternate pre-timeskip personal Jolly Roger for Chopper as depicted in Chapter 507's Cover Page.
Chopper's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Chopper's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Chopper PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Chopper's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Robin's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Robin's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Robin PJR (PT) OPM.png
Robin's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Robin's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Robin's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Robin PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Robin's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Franky's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Franky's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Franky's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger 2.png
Franky's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Franky PJR (PT) OPM.png
Franky's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Franky's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Franky's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Franky PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Franky's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Brook's Pre Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Brook's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip).
Brook PJR (PT) OPM.png
Brook's personal Jolly Roger (pre-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Brook's Post Timeskip Jolly Roger.png
Brook's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip).
Brook PJR (PoT) OPM.png
Brook's personal Jolly Roger (post-timeskip) as detailed in the One Piece Magazine.
Brook's Manga Tea Cup.png
Brook's jolly roger on his tea cup in the manga.
Brook's Anime Tea Cup.png
Brook's jolly roger on his tea cup in the anime.
Vivi's Jolly Roger.png
Vivi's personal Jolly Roger.

Other Characters

Richie's Jolly Roger.png
Richie's personal Jolly Roger.
Merry's Personal Jolly Roger.png
Merry's personal Jolly Roger.
Perona's Jolly Roger.png
Perona's personal Jolly Roger.
Emporio Ivankov's Jolly Roger.png
Emporio Ivankov's personal Jolly Roger and of Kamabakka Kingdom.
Sabo's Jolly Roger.png
Sabo's flag.
Killer's Jolly Roger.png
Killer's personal Jolly Roger.
Ricky's Jolly Roger.png
The Jolly Roger on Ricky's cape.
Edward Weevil Jolly Roger.png
Edward Weevil's personal Jolly Roger.
Queen's Jolly Roger.png
Queen's personal Jolly Roger.
Black Maria's Personal Jolly Roger.png
Black Maria's Personal Jolly Roger.
Vegeta's Jolly Roger.png
Vegeta's Jolly Roger in Cross Epoch.
Mobston's Jolly Roger.png
Mobston's personal Jolly Roger.
Redfield's Jolly Roger.png
Patrick Redfield's personal Jolly Roger
Bullet Jolly Roger.png
Douglas Bullet's personal Jolly Roger.

Early One Piece

In the first draft of Romance Dawn, Luffy's Jolly Roger was depicted with a somewhat flatter skull, accompanied by two horizontally parallel arms instead of crossbones. This prototypical version of Luffy also made a habit of collecting flags from rival pirates he defeated.

References

  1. One Piece Manga — Vol. 1 (p. 82, 104), In a feature predating SBS columns, Oda discusses the concept of the Jolly Roger, and the basics of drawing one.
  2. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 16 Chapter 142 (p. 11-12) and Episode 85, Hiriluk shows off his personal flag—and credo as a doctor—to Tony Tony Chopper.
  3. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 5 Chapter 43 and Episode 20, Shortly after the Straw Hat Pirates have properly marked the Going Merry, they are attacked by Fullbody, despite being acknowledged as "unknowns" with no real criminal record (though in the manga, Johnny and Yosaku—technically passengers of the Straw Hats—had tried to attack him first).
  4. One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 60 Chapter 588 (p. 7) and Episodes 502503, Saint Jalmack fires on Sabo's ship, declaring that Sabo's Jolly Roger is all the reason he needs.

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