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Encyclopedia > Skull and crossbones
EU standard toxic symbol, as defined by Directive 67/548/EEC.
EU standard toxic symbol, as defined by Directive 67/548/EEC.
The traditional "Jolly Roger" of Piracy.
The traditional "Jolly Roger" of Piracy.

A skull and crossbones is a symbol consisting of a human skull and two bones crossed together under the skull. Today, it is generally used as a warning of danger (usually in regard to poisonous substances). Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Image File history File links Hazard_T.svg Summary Description: The hazard symbol for toxic/highly toxic substances according to directive 67/548/EWG by the European Chemicals Bureau. ... Image File history File links Hazard_T.svg Summary Description: The hazard symbol for toxic/highly toxic substances according to directive 67/548/EWG by the European Chemicals Bureau. ... Council Directive 67/548/EEC of 27 June 1967 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (as amended) is the main European Union law concerning chemical safety. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Edward_England. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Edward_England. ... This article is about maritime piracy. ... Wingdings version of the Jolly Roger (character N). Many pirates created their own individualized versions. ... For the pirate flag, see Jolly Roger. ... Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. ... For other uses of Skull, see Skull (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Poison (disambiguation). ...


The symbol, or some variation thereof, was also featured on the Jolly Roger, one of the many flag designs of European and American pirates; it is thought of as the stereotypical pirate flag, although it has historically been used for other purposes as well. Wingdings version of the Jolly Roger (character N). Many pirates created their own individualized versions. ... For other uses, see Flag (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Look up pirate and piracy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Traditionally, the crossbones behind the skull indicates poison, while the crossbones under the skull (the "Jolly Roger") indicates pirates or piracy.

Contents

History of the symbol

At Mission Santa Barbara, a religious outpost founded in California in 1786, stone "skull and crossbone" carvings denote the cemetery entrance.
At Mission Santa Barbara, a religious outpost founded in California in 1786, stone "skull and crossbone" carvings denote the cemetery entrance.

Actual skulls and bones were long used to mark the entrances to Spanish cemeteries (campo santo). The practice, dating back many centuries, led to the symbol eventually becoming associated with the concept of death. Some crucifixes feature a skull and crossbones beneath the corpus (the depiction of Jesus's body), in reference to a legend that the place of the crucifixion was also the burial place of Adam or, more likely, in reference to the New Testament statement (King James Version: Matthew 27:33, Mark 15:22, and John 19:17) that the place of his crucifixion was called "Golgotha" (tr. "the Place of a Skull"). Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1030x619, 275 KB) from en wiki original uploader [1] A typical Mission cemetery entrance. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1030x619, 275 KB) from en wiki original uploader [1] A typical Mission cemetery entrance. ... Painting of the mission Known as The Queen of the Missions, Mission Santa Bárbara in California was founded on December 4, 1786 by Father Fermin Lasuen, who had taken over the Presidency of the California mission chain upon the death of Father Junipero Serra. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... 1786 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation), Dead (disambiguation), Death (band) or Deceased (band). ... The Crucifix, a cross with corpus, a symbol used in Catholicism in contrast with some other Christian communions, which use only a cross. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ...


Today, an example of a real skull and crossbones may be seen in the 1732 Nuestra Señora del Pilar church overlooking the famous Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It contains several altars rescued from other early Spanish churches in South America. One of these has twenty rectangular window boxes arrayed behind and above the altar, five wide by four tall. The size of these glass window boxes is such that the femurs of the priests interred thusly are a bit too long to lay flat and so must be leaned up in an "X" formation. The other bones fill in the spaces around the femurs with the skull sitting prominently on top of the bone pile centered above the "X".


In 1829, New York State required the labeling of all containers of poisonous substances. The skull and crossbones symbol appears to have been used for that purpose since the 1850s. Previously a variety of motifs had been used, including the Danish "+ + +" and drawings of skeletons. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 1829 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... State nickname: Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York Governor George Pataki Official languages None Area 141,205 km² (27th)  - Land 122,409 km²  - Water 18,795 km² (13. ... // Production of steel revolutionized by invention of the Bessemer process Benjamin Silliman fractionates petroleum by distillation for the first time First transatlantic telegraph cable laid First safety elevator installed by Elisha Otis Railroads begin to supplant canals in the United States as a primary means of transporting goods. ... For other uses, see Skeleton (disambiguation). ...


In the 1870s poison manufacturers around the world began using bright cobalt bottles with a variety of raised bumps and designs (to enable easy recognition in the dark) to indicate poison, but by the 1880s the skull and cross bones had become ubiquitous, and the brightly coloured bottles lost their association. // The invention of the telephone (1876) by Alexander Graham Bell. ... Cobalt is a cool, slightly desaturated blue, historically made using cobalt salts. ... // Development and commercial production of electric lighting Development and commercial production of gasoline-powered automobile by Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler and Maybach First commercial production and sales of phonographs and phonograph recordings. ...


Modern uses

The cap badge of the Queen's Royal Lancers.

Today, the skull and crossbones is still the only standard symbol for poison. It is, however, less common outside industrial usage than it once was. Apart from its negative marketing effect on environmentally conscious consumers, it may actually attract children due to its association with pirates, a popular toy and play theme. For this reason, in the United States there has been a proposal to replace the skull and crossbones by the "Mr. Yuk" symbol. Cap Badge of the Queens Royal Lancers This is a copyrighted and/or trademarked logo. ... Cap Badge of the Queens Royal Lancers This is a copyrighted and/or trademarked logo. ... Mr. ...


The skull and crossbones is also used by the British Army. The 17th Lancers adopted the skull and crossbones as its cap badge upon its creation in 1759, becoming known as the 'Death or Glory Boys'. The cap badge was later used by the 17th/21st Lancers and its present-day successor, the Queen's Royal Lancers who are still nicknamed the 'Death or Glory Boys'. The British Army is the land armed forces branch of the British Armed Forces. ... Official name The 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridges Own) Colonel-in-Chief Duke of Cambridge Colonel-of-the-Regiment Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig Motto Or Glory Nicknames Binghams Dandies The Death or Glory Boys The Horse Marines The Tots The White Lancers Anniversaries Balaklava (20... A cap badge, also known as head badge or hat badge, is a badge worn on uniform headgear and distinguishes the wearers organisation. ... 1759 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The 17th/21st Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Army from 1922 to 1993. ... The Queens Royal Lancers (The Death or Glory Boys) is an armoured regiment of the British Army. ...


Indeed, variations on the symbol have been used by several military forces; In World War II, Nazi SS troops made use of it as an insignia (in particular, the 3rd SS Division, which was a part of the larger Waffen SS). United States Marine Corps reconnaissance battalions also use a skull and cross bones on their emblems. VFA-103, Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (the Jolly Rogers) is a U.S. Navy fighter unit that was formed in the Pacific and adopted the skull and crossbones on all-black tails on their aircraft and is today perhaps the most recognizable squadron markings in the world. SS redirects here. ... The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is a branch of the United States military responsible for providing power projection from the sea,[1] utilizing the mobility of the U.S. Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. ... Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (the Jolly Rogers) as a Strike Fighter Squadron flying the F/A-18F Super Hornet and is based at NAS Oceana. ...

A US Navy (USN) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (VFA-103), prepares to launch from the flight deck of the USN Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier, 2006.
A US Navy (USN) F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft assigned to the "Jolly Rogers" of Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (VFA-103), prepares to launch from the flight deck of the USN Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier, 2006.

In Unicode, the "skull and crossbones" symbol is U+2620 (☠). The HTML entity is ☠. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 571 pixelsFull resolution (2100 × 1500 pixels, file size: 531 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 571 pixelsFull resolution (2100 × 1500 pixels, file size: 531 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...


It is also used by the Skull and Bones Society, a secret society at Yale University, as well as the Kappa Sigma, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternities. Poole Pirates Speedway Team in the United Kingdom have the Skull and Crossbones as their team badge. This article is about a secret society. ... For the Europe album, see Secret Society (Europe album). ... Yale redirects here. ... ΚΣ (Kappa Sigma) is an international fraternity with currently 234 chapters and 42 colonies in North America. ... ΣΦΕ (Sigma Phi Epsilon), commonly nicknamed SigEp or S-P-E, is a social fraternity for male college students in the United States. ... Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ), also known as Tri Sigma or Sigma, is a national American women’s sorority with membership of more than 92,000 members (as of August 1, 2006). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Poole Pirates motorcycle speedway team are a Speedway team in England. ... Motorcycle speedway, normally referred to as Speedway, is a motorcycle sport that involves usually 4 and sometimes up to 6 riders competing over 4 laps of an oval circuit. ...


It is also used by the Grand Army of Belle Geary as an emblem for the BGH&FC Tomato War. It has been a tradition since the Great Depression.


See also

The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for poison. ... Wingdings version of the Jolly Roger (character N). Many pirates created their own individualized versions. ... Mr. ... Left side of altar with bone monstrance Chandelier made of bones and skulls Condition in 1990 Detail from the Schwarzenberg coat-of-arms The Sedlec Ossuary (Czech: kostnice Sedlec) is a small Christian chapel, located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints (Czech: Hřbitovní kostel Všech Svatých... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For the pirate flag, see Jolly Roger. ... The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut, from the Liber chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel. ...

References

1. "Wal-Mart pulls T-shirts with Nazi skull logo", Associated Press, Nov 14, 2006.


External links

  • "Pirates" — an overview of Pirate Flags
  • "Crossbones Fanlisting" Crossbones Fanlisting
  • "Skull Symbol" article about the use of similar symbols around the globe

  Results from FactBites:
 
Skull and Bones, The Yale Secret Society (3598 words)
As The Skulls was about to be released, and as George W.'s quest for the Republican presidential nomination looked increasingly certain to succeed, the society sent all members a memo reminding them of their vow of silence.
The club paid obeisance to Eulogia, the goddess of eloquence, who took her place in the pantheon upon the death of the orator Demosthenes, in 322 B.C., and who is said to have returned in a kind of Second Coming on the occasion of the society's inception.
The skull didn't match Anderson's records, and it was returned to the society's tomb.
Skull And Crossbones (250 words)
This charm includes an un-soldered sterling silver jump ring to wear the skull and crossbones sword as a necklace pendant or on a charm bracelet.
The skull & crossbones sword measures approximately 1.
This charm includes an un-soldered 14k gold jump ring to wear the skull and crossbones sword as a necklace pendant or on a charm bracelet.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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