Flags have always been a very public way to declare how what people stand for, what they believe, their allegiances and their current sentiments. It is natural, then, that flag tattoos would also follow as a way for people to celebrate their loyalties, their heritage and their beliefs. Flag tattoos come in a vast array of colors and styles, and they can be manipulated in a variety of ways to express many sentiments. Just as seafaring vessels use a variety of flags to signal how things are faring aboard the vessel, people around the world use flag tattoo designs to express how things are faring with and for them throughout their lives.
Probably the most popular type of flag tattoo is one that indicates love of country. In the United States, the American Flag flies proudly on many, many American men and women who have gotten their own personal version of the flag to express their personal pride in their country and their patriotism in a public way. Patriotic tattoos incorporating the American flag have always been extremely popular, but in the aftermath of 9/11, their popularity and visibility soared in surprising ways as people who heretofore would not have displayed any type of ink openly proudly bore American flag tattoos on prominent positions on their bodies regardless of their professional status. American flag tattoos are also extremely common among military men and women and the families of those who serve in the armed forces. For Americans, an American flag tattoo is one of the best and boldest ways to declare oneâ€™s support and love for oneâ€™s country and the ideals that it stands for. Interestingly, patriotic tattoo designs implement the American flag in a number of ways. Of course, the flag can fly proudly, but it also can enshroud a brave soldier, peer out from behind the skin of a brave warrior (see illustration) or be used in a variety of decorative ways to supplement and accent other tattoo designs.
Naturally, people with nationalities other than American citizens also enjoy sporting their native landâ€™s flag, and many other nations are just as patriotic as Americans when it comes to pride in their country and their heritage. Heritage tattoos also often incorporate flags of various nationalities, particularly when the owner of the tattoos has several different types of heritage. Particularly popular are Mexican flag tattoos, Irish flag tattoos, a variety of African flag tattoos and, in a category all their own, confederate flag tattoos. Often people incorporate their heritage based flag tattoos into coats of arms or other larger tattoo designs that illustrate many different aspects of the tattoo ownerâ€™s heritage.
It is certainly not possible to discuss flag tattoos and flag tattoo designs without addressing confederate flag tattoos. These highly controversial and extremely popular flag tattoo designs express an aggressive pride in oneâ€™s heritage while, at the same time, eliciting a potentially violent and inherently visceral response in many people who view these designs. Some people, Civil war buffs in particular, may get the confederate flag tattooed on their bodies as an expression of their interest in the American Civil War or as a commemorative tattoo for all the lives lost in the war. However, far more often, confederate flag tattoos are meant to commemorate the â€œSouthern way of lifeâ€ that many people in the southeastern United States mourn to this day.
In an interesting subset of flag tattoo designs, NASCAR tattoos often incorporate racing flags, such as a green flag tattoo to indicate speed, a checkered flag tattoo to indicate passion and triumph and highly stylized and customized car number flag tattoos to indicate support for a favorite driver. Particularly following the highly publicized and traumatic death of Dale Earnhardt, Sr., the popularity of number 3 tattoos skyrocketed as race fans flocked to commemorate the NASCAR racing legend.
Whether you get a flag tattoo to help you express your pride in your heritage or you just want to support your country and show your love in a visible way that does not require you to say anything and still lets people know how you feel, a flag tattoo may appear to be impersonal, but it is one of the most emotional tattoos many people will every get. Flag tattoo designs tend to involve pride, devotion and similar emotions, and a flag tattoo design will let everyone know just where your heart and your loyalty stand.
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