in tresure island
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Smollet raises the flag to show the pirates that the men are resolute and determined to withstand anything,
"Strike my colours!" cried the captain. "No, sir, not I"; and as soon as he had said the words, I think we all agreed with him. For it was not only a piece of stout, seamanly, good feeling; it was good policy besides and showed our enemies that we despised their cannonade.
Although the flag is a target, the men consider it a badge of honour.