Our Flag Means Hope? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 55 Number 2023
  • ISSN: 2589-4617
  • E-ISSN: 2667-2081



This contribution analyzes how the eighteenth century is used as a narrative strategy in the popular HBO-series (2022-). Set during the Golden Age of Piracy (1650-1730), the series depicts the fortunes of the bumbling, rather unsuccessful ‘gentleman pirate’ Stede Bonnet. Although the show’s creators, David Jenkins and Taika Waititi, drew inspiration from eighteenth-century history, historical accuracy is not one of the series’ priorities Indeed, a reliable representation of life in the eighteenth century is not what brought millions of viewers to grow to love the series. Far more important is the show’s authentic discussion of issues related to gender and sexuality (in particular homosexuality and queer identity). In this contribution, I will address how the creators use the eighteenth century to tell a story about queer love more freely. Not only the eighteenth century’s (relative) obscurity, but also the premodern character of this period allow Jenkins and Waititi to tell a story that blends history, fiction, and social justice.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Avila, Alexander, ‘The End of Rainbow Capitalism’, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xQVFYWvd3o (geraadpleegd 19mei2023).
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Burg, Barry Richard, Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth Century Caribbean (New York1995).
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Ellis, Rowan, ‘Our Flag Means Death: Analysing “The Gay Pirate Show” – Video Essay’, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MlYJQa3YJw (geraadpleegd 19mei2023).
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Kain, Erik, ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is Bringing out the Worst in Tolkien Fandom’, Forbes (4september2022) https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2022/09/04/the-lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-is-bringing-out-the-worst-in-tolkien-fandom/.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. NatashaSimonova, ‘Black Sails’, Criticks Reviews: Media, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (17mei2017) https://www.bsecs.org.uk/criticks-reviews/black-sails/.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Oosterhuis, Harry, ‘Sodemieterij, eigdendomsindividualisme en goddeloze natuur’, Jaarboek Achttiende Eeuw53 (2021) 127-148.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Simonova, Natasha, ‘Black Sails’ (Criticks Reviews: Media, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 17mei2017) https://www.bsecs.org.uk/criticks-reviews/black-sails/.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Wolf, Matt, ‘Bridgerton’s Approach to Race and Casting Has Precedent Onstage’, The New York Times (21januari2021) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/21/theater/bridgerton-theater-colorblind-casting.html.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error