Unless you’re a certified pirate expert, most of the information you know about pirates probably came from Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean films. While those movies are based on some degree of fact, there’s a lot about pirates that didn’t make it into those films.
In reality, pirates were a lot less glorified than they are in popular culture. Nowadays pirates have been elevated to an almost mythical level, but these people really did exist, and there is more to pirate culture than meets the eye.
What A Red Flag Means
If you’ve seen classic depictions of pirate ships in the media, those ships are usually flying a Jolly Roger flag (the one with the skull and crossbones). The Jolly Roger did serve as a warning to oncoming ships, however, if a pirate ship was flying a red flag, then you really had a reason to worry.
The red flag symbolizes no quarter, meaning that there would be no mercy given to anyone on board the ship and that everyone would be killed once they had been captured. This flag was referred to as the “Bloody Red.”