Pirates were perhaps the first businessmen to seriously consider the benefits of clear marketing and brand recognition. Not only did they have a highly recognizable brand logo – the skull and crossbones – and a distinct form of dress, but they were also careful to brand their pirate ships in such a way that reflected their profession.
Pirate Ship Branding
Creating the right name for a pirate ship was very important. Contrary to popular belief, most pirates wanted to avoid conflict, preferring to instill fear into their victims through appearance and reputation rather than perform close combat. The name of the pirate ship was part of the this branding. Names which included words such as “revenge,” “death,” “victory” or “triumph” were common amongst those pirate ships whose captains could be bothered to change the name of stolen ships. There were many pirates who kept the original name of the ships they stole, through lack of creativity!
Political Pirate Ship Names
There were, of course, pirates who had alternative agendas when it came to renaming the ships they acquired during battle. The most notable is Blackbeard’s the Queen Anne’s Revenge. Blackbeard and his pirate ship are perhaps the most notable pirate duo in history (discounting of course Captain Hook’s Jolly Roger of Peter Pan fame!). The Queen Anne’s Revenge follows the typical pirate branding by featuring the word “revenge” in the name; however, Blackbeard’s reference to Queen Anne is a political statement.
Queen Anne was the deposed queen of England and there was a movement called the Jacobites, whose aim was to have her and her lineage reinstated to the throne. Blackbeard’s choice of name for his pirate ship, that was originally called the Concorde, adds evidence to the claim that Blackbeard was also a Jacobite.
Pirate Ships for Fun
The Marigalante pirate ship, which provides the stage for the Pirates of the Bay show in Puerto Vallarta, takes its name from a more noble part of history, that of Christopher Columbus. Marigalante was the name that the sailors of the Santa Maria gave Columbus’s flagship when he traveled to the Americas. The literal translation is the Gallant Maria or Brave Mary.