“Splice the Main Brace!”. The great sailing ships were propelled only by the wind in their sails which were attached to spars called yards. The lines to trim the sails were called braces and ran from the ends of the yards to the deck. The main brace was the largest and heaviest of all the rigging being up to 20″ diameter on the big ships. To splice it was one of the most difficult tasks on board ship. Sometimes in the heat of battle, the braces were shot away making the ship unmanageable. To those that “Spliced the Main Brace”, went a double issue of rum.
It became customary to always “Splice the Main Brace” after battle, always after victory, and to before reward a ship’s crew, or sometimes the entire fleet, with the order to “Splice the Main Brace!”, which meant a double issue of rum for a job well done. The ritual was always preceded by hoisting the flag signal to “Splice the Main Brace!”. In recent times, to say to a friend, “Let’s Splice the Main Brace!”, is akin to saying “Let’s have a drink!”.
Today, this flag signal design, for which Pusser’s holds the trademark, is a well recognized logo used by Pusser’s on much of its apparel.