The highest German military decoration for bravery, instituted in 1813. The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. As time passed the design of the iron cross has transformed over time. The Iron Cross Tattoo has many symbolic meanings associated with it like honor, courage and bravery to name a few. Many have adopted this symbol like Police and Fire organizations, Bikers, Knights Templar and Military.