The fleet that would eventually become the Barricado started as a few associated smuggling and pirate ships. Coming to the aid of one of their freighters, the instigated the Battle of Calisto, managing to escape when outnumbered more than two to one by ISSP ships, and destroying nearly half of them in the process. The benefit of organizing many ships under one banner was clear.
They earned the name Barricado (Spanish for Barricade) while running protection rackets on ships moving from the Inner Planets into the Belt and beyond. This and other activities have slowed due to the intervention of the OPA.
The Barricado was arguably the largest private navy in the System by the time they allied themselves with the Red Dragon Syndicate during the Syndicate War. But after the alliance, their number swelled further as they assimilated the Syndicate’s existing smuggling ships and crews.
Over the decades, a complex system of codes of honor and an extremely strict pecking order has developed to govern the massive organization. Members say that understanding the Code is what tells you if you are meant to live the life of a Barricado. It rewards loyalty and punishes weakness. Though it does not encourage mutiny, there are ways to advance through killing a superior officer.
The closest thing to a uniform among the Barricado is the Colors: for most this is a black vest, usually of leather, with a red dragon emblem on it. Only those with the rank of Capo (captain of a vessel) or higher are allowed to wear the long coat version of this. At “official” functions, Ultimo (Supreme Admiral) Elija Smith and his Penultimos (Admirals) wear a hooded version that ceremonially keeps their identities secret. Practically, it can keep their identities from long rang surveillance and snipers.