Apple Hosts Pirate Flag over Infinite Loop HQ to Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago today, Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne to develop and sell personal computers. Yes, Apple Computer Company was started on April Fool’s Day back in 1976. And now, on the company’s 40th anniversary on April 1, 2016, a familiar piece of folklore has returned to Apple’s campus at 1 Infinite Loop: a pirate flag with a big skull and crossbones in white at the center, in a cheeky nod to Apple’s past.

Back in the early 80s, Steve Jobs assembled a rebellious team to work on a skunkworks project: the original Macintosh. Referring to themselves as the pirates of the company, they hoisted a “jolly roger” pirate flag above 1 Infinite Loop.

“It’s better to be a pirate than join the navy,” Steve Jobs famously told the Mac team.

In November 2014, Susan Kare, who designed fonts and icons for the original Macintosh, started selling replica pirate flags that contained the Apple logo. Each one was hand painted by Kare, and they started at $1,900 apiece.

On any other day, the pirate flag over Infinite Loop would be an Apple logo. However, Apple occasionally swaps it for something else to commemorate big events. One of its most recent changes was a rainbow Pride flag to support the LGBT community.

As for the famous pirate flag, it was first flown over Apple’s Bandley 3 office using leftover construction materials. The original flag was painted by graphic designer Susan Kare, who also designed the icons for the original Macintosh. If you look closely, you’ll see that the eyepatch on the flag uses a rainbow-colored Apple logo decal.

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