- Blackbeard, Marshall D Teach, is modeled after the real British pirate Edward Teach and is a pivotal figure in the “One Piece” series, possibly its main antagonist. He notably becomes one of the four emperors of the sea after defeating Whitebeard.
- Jolly Rogers in “One Piece” symbolize pirate identities and their core motives. They mirror the characteristics and beliefs of the crew and aren’t exclusive to pirates. Their defense or desecration marks key emotional events, as demonstrated by Luffy’s actions regarding Doctor Hiluluk’s flag.
- Several theories surround Blackbeard’s three-skulled flag, from it indicating potential devil fruit acquisitions, suggesting multiple personalities within Blackbeard, or denoting significant kills. There’s also a speculated tie to Rocks D Xebec and a representation of past, present, and future.
Blackbeard, also known as Marshall D Teach, was inspired by the real-life British pirate known as Edward Teach. He is one of the worst gen pirates, along with Monkey D Luffy, Trafalgar Law, and Eustass Kid. He is a ruthless killer and is also speculated by many to be the main antagonist of the One Piece universe.
Blackbeard, gained the power of the Logia type Devil Fruit, when he obtained the dark fruit, by killing Thatch, another commander of the Whitebeard pirates. After killing Edward Newgate, also known as whitebeard, he became one of the four emperors of the sea.
An Intro to Jolly Roger
A jolly roger is a pirate flag, the flag that identifies a certain pirate group within the One Piece manga. A Jolly roger usually represent the main motives of the crew; in other cases, they also highlight particular characteristics of a certain pirate group or captain; this can be seen in the straw hat pirates flag, where the skull on the Jolly Roger, has its own straw hat. The big mom pirate flag, highlights the main features of their captain, similar is the case with Jolly Roger of the kid pirates. The symbolism on a pirate flag can represent many things such as hope, freedom, hate, death, and other things.
A jolly Roger, is not limited to pirates only. In the one piece world, pirates are seen as people with more freedom, and the pirate king is the person who has the most freedom in the world. This analogy, proves that you don’t have to be a pirate to own a Jolly Roger, this can be seen with Doctor Hiluruks Jolly Roger, in the drum kingdom arc.
Jolly rogers are used to signify rebellion, amongst other things as well. Moreover, Jolly rogers are sacred, and pirates take huge pride in them, this can be seen when Luffy shielded Doctor’s Jolly Roger with his body, or burned the world government flag, as an act of disobedience, and war.
Blackbeard’s Pirate Flag
Blackbeard’s Jolly roger, has three skulls on it, and much like Blackbeard, it is a mystery what the flag signifies. The three skulls, with the bones on them, are an omen of death, power, and corruption. The flag was inspired by the real life flag, of the English pirate also known as Blackbeard, however, there are some differences in it, such as the jagged teeth. The flag, however, could also refer to other things or a sort of foreshadowing by Oda.
The Three Devil Fruits Theory
Devil Fruit users are considered strong, and Blackbeard is the only known pirate to have two devil fruits. Killing Edward thatch, teach obtained his first devil fruit, and then he meticulously managed to obtain another one, when he killed, and ate whitebeard. Many fans theorize that the third skull signifies, that he will also eat a third fruit.
This theory also aligns with the Cerberus theory, which claims that Blackbeard ate the mythical zoan fruit known, as the Cerberus fruit, that allowed him to get three heads, one for each devil fruit. It could be that those skulls symbolize these devil fruits.
The Multiple Personalities Theory
During the Skypea arc, Luffy meets Blackbeard at a pub in mock town. The two are shown to be polar opposites, however Blackbeard does encourage Luffy without knowing who he was. During this arc, we also see Zoro, and Luffy refer to Blackbeard as as them, implying multiple personalities, or multiple beings existed within the same body.
This can also be confirmed, because we see Blackbeard behave differently, and contradictory to his personalities, sometimes he’s shown to be couragious, while at other times Blackbeard looks to be scared.
Fans have also attributed the multiple personalities, to his teeth missing. The teeth missing, are shown to be different at different times during the One piece anime, and Blackbeard has shown different personalities each time. Another thing that confirms this theory, is when Marco refers to Blackbeard’s body as something different from others.
This also ties in to another theory about the three dead brothers Blackbeard, has the three personalities of his three dead brothers, which could also explain the teeth, and Luffy and Zoro referring to Blackbeard as them.
The 3 kills Theory
The idea behind this theory about the flag of Blackbeard pirates is that each of the skulls on the flag represents Blackbeard’s most significant kills. The first skull, is Edward Thatch, Blackbeard’s first victim, who was killed for the dark dark fruit. The third skull signifies Blackbeard’s final victim, Edward Newgate, who he killed at the battle of marineford, that was fought to save Ace. Blackbeard’s crew killed Whitebeard, and stole his devils fruit.
Tying with the above theories, that conceptualizes the existence of a third devil’s fruit that Blackbeard will eat. The final victim, is supposed to be the owner of the third fruit. This theory could be very close to being true, as at the moment, there is a fight going on between Law, and Blackbeard in the One Piece manga.
Rocks Pirates Theory
Some fans also considered that Blackbeard carries the will of Rocks D Xebec, an enemy of Gol D Roger, the captain of the Roger pirates. It theorizes that Blackbeard’s pirate flag’s three scowling skulls, one looking to the left, one to the center, and another to the right, resemble the past, present, and the future. The past being the will of Rocks D Xebec, however, there has been no evidence of this.
In One Piece, pirate flags, or Jolly Rogers, represent a pirate’s strength, image, pride, beliefs, and strongest characteristics. Blackbeard’s flag has no proper explanation, however, the theories discussed above could be true. There is also the chance that Blackbeard was simply being silly and drew the flag on a whim, which would be Oda’s way of trolling the fandom.