Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby in 'Our Flag Means Death' season 2

When Exactly Does ‘Our Flag Means Death’ Take Place?

Our Flag Means Death is historical fiction with a heavy emphasis on the fiction part. However, it does feature historical characters in a (vaguely) historical period, leaving fans to wonder: when exactly does Our Flag Means Death take place?

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What period does Our Flag Means Death take place in?

Our Flag Means Death is set in what is known as the “Golden Age of Piracy,” a.k.a. the 1650s to the 1730s. Most pirate media takes place during this time frame due to the large number of famous pirates who sailed in the same waters—though most of them never crossed paths.

One other example of storytelling during this period is the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which takes place between 1728 and 1751 and depicts an alternate history—one where Blackbeard was still alive after 1718, and the East India Trading Company lost the “War on Piracy.”

Our Flag Means Death follows similar historical revisionism, choosing to portray the pirates of the time in a much more humorous light. Still, the show does appear to have some attempts at historical accuracy—it is reportedly set in 1717, which is before Blackbeard’s execution, and it does feature some surprisingly accurate costuming from the era.

However, the show also features Anne Bonny and Mary Read as a pirate power couple, despite their not having joined “Calico Jack” Rackham’s crew before 1720. Neither of the famous female pirates met Blackbeard either as he was already dead by the time they became well-known pirates.

Of course, the show is meant to be a humorous look at how we see pirates instead of what they were actually like, and thus, most of these “historical inaccuracies” are intentional to add to the absurdity of the show. It’s a bit like Muppet’s Treasure Island. Sure, there are technically some historically accurate aspects, but don’t expect a comedy to be a documentary.

(featured image: HBO/MAX)

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Kimberly Terasaki
Kimberly Terasaki is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She has been writing articles for them since 2018, going on 5 years of working with this amazing team. Her interests include Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Horror, intersectional feminism, and fanfiction; some are interests she has held for decades, while others are more recent hobbies. She liked Ahsoka Tano before it was cool, will fight you about Rey being a “Mary Sue,” and is a Kamala Khan stan.