History of USA Patriotic Tattoos
The first Americans to be tattooed took their inspiration from the Native Americans, who have a long history of body decoration. The first mention of this tattoo style in the USA appears in a sailor’s logbook from the 19th century, which describes the process as “pricking”.
Tattoos became so popular among sailors that the forerunner of the tattoo parlour appeared among their communities.
The popular cartoon character Popeye the sailor man is a perfect example of a USA patriot, having a large anchor tattoo emblazoned on his chunky forearm.
Nowadays, tattoos for american sailors have been curtailed by bureaucracy; they are only allowed to have prints that are smaller than their hands, or “palm sized tattoos”.
Since 2007, US Marines thinking of getting new large pieces of ink visible below the knee or elbows should think twice, as this practice has been forbidden. For example the Marines motto “Semper Fi” meaning “Always Faithful” is liable to be seen much less frequently.
Symbolism of USA Patriotic Tattoos.
There is a huge range of traditional tattoo ideas to choose from in this area, especially the distinctive red, white and blue of the stars and stripes flag, which is often incorporated into several different designs.
Think of the American Eagle, the symbolic bird of the USA, or perhaps any Masonic-style imagery lifted from the dollar bill. Or the feathers of the Native American tradition.
War like images reflect the nation’s proud military history such as grenades, guns and rockets also tend to be popular too.
The Tattoos Themselves
The American flag, in whichever form the customer chooses continues to be the most popular way of expressing their patriotic ideals. For anyone leaving the States, the stars and stripes is a constant reminder of their roots and a way of telling the world of their allegiance to their country.
It is also poignant to note that there was a massive rise of American flag tattoos after the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers and elsewhere. These tattoos could potentially mark the loss of a loved one, freedom, love and belief for the US or indeed strength in the face of adversity.