Say “pirate,” and people envision grizzled men with eye patches, parrots, and treasure maps. They picture buccaneers forcing their victims to walk the plank, and crying “Shiver me timbers” as they fly the Jolly Roger flag. It turns out, many of these stereotypes are not true. Pirates have been around for nearly as long as people have sailed the world’s waters, and, in fact, still exist. It’s just how they’ve been depicted that’s often misleading. So where did these misinterpretations come from?
Pirates are commonly portrayed wearing colorful attire. He may sport as a loose-fitting shirt with a bandana around his head, a scarf around his waist, ripped pants, wearing tattered boots, like Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. Or he may appear a bit foppish, much like Stede Bonnet, the "gentleman pirate" in the 2022 series Our Flag Means Death.