Following on from yesterdays post about uniforms I thought it worth sharing a couple of excellent sources on the web. “Pirates & Sea Dogs” has lots of excellent pictures and I found it to be both informative and inspirational when starting painting ships crewmen.
Another excellent source document is Cut-throats; The Piratical History of Tortuga an article by By Chris Rule and Originally published in Wargames Illustrated 137.
These sources have loads of interesting and less well know facts pertaining to the "Golden Age of Piracy". For instance most clothing worn by pirates was taken as plunder but no pirate would be caught wearing the striped shirt worn by British sailors (known as "slops").
The Jolly Roger, or skull and crossed bones we identify as "the" pirate flag was, in fact, one of many flags. Each pirate captain created their own flag, unique to his command. An interesting selection of pirate flags can be found here.