"I intend to see that any man who sails under a pirate flag or wears a pirate brand gets what he deserves: a short drop and a sudden stop." ~ Norrington

Jack has two markings on his right forearm labeling him as a pirate; one, a tattoo of a swallow flying across a setting sun. [Traditionally a sailor gets this tattoo after traveling 5000 nautical miles at sea. Often a swallow is the 'first sign that land is near' and it means 'safe return home' for the sailor.] and the distinctive "P" brand marked on pirates by members of the East India Trading Company—this one in particular administered by Cutler Beckett himself.

The fact that the tattoo is a "swallow " and not a sparrow is unknown, but the key indicator is the forked (or split) tail of the tattoo that Jack wears.

In a COTBP deleted scene, Jack also revealed a giant scar on his left forearm and two musket shots in his chest.


Jack's back is also extensively tattooed with a 1927 poem called the 'Desiderata', although this is rarely seen in the movies - its only appearance on film is during the Davy Jones' Locker sequence. It is visible on the bare back of one of the Jack Sparrow copies shortly before he is stabbed by the 'real' Jack.





  • To make the brand some have resorted to fabricating a rubber latex application that is applied to the skin. Sometimes you can find a brand for sale that is included with a mustache and beard set.

  • You can also make the brand using Dragon Skin - found here.

  • The brand can be glued down with Telesis 5and then apply makeup to suit.


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