The American flag is a very popular image not only in the United States but across the world. The red, blue, white and star components of the powerful flag can be recognized even by a kid in most countries.
So if you are lucky enough to be born and raised in this country, there is nothing better to show your love and patriotism to the nation than sporting an American flag tattoo. Contrary to common notions that only people in the military or police officers can get this tattooed on their skin, American flag tattoos are for everyone who wants to take their pride and love to the country to a higher level.
Meaning of American flag tattoos
What is beautiful about tattooing the American flag is that it sends a lot of message to the people. It also gives a strong reminder to the wearer. The most obvious meaning of an American flag tattoo, however, is patriotism and love for the country. This tattoo represents commitment and faith to the nation.
Another beautiful meaning of this tattoo design is its being a tribute to military service. Those who previously served the military get the American flag tattoo to continue showing their dedication to the country. They can add embellishments such as dog tags, shield, rank and even the ID number. These elements make the tattoo a more symbolic military service tattoo.
Besides those who were in the service, the American flag tattoo can also be a tribute to the fallen brothers and sisters who have served the military. This tattoo is great for their family members, friends and colleagues.
American flag tattoo etiquette
It is true that your creativity can bring you a lot of designs for your American flag tattoo. However, you have to be careful with this image. Just like how you respect a real flag, you should respect the American flag in your tattoo design.
One thing to remember is that there are images that must never be paired with the flag. This includes flames since a burning flag is never a good and respectable sight. Also, the flag should not be portrayed as being stepped on or an image that is tattered. Generally, what you don’t want to happen with a real flag, you don’t want to get in your tattoo.
It is important that as a person wanting to show your pride for the country, you must be careful not to make your tattoo a laughing stock. Worse, do not make it a shame for other people who show their love and respect to the nation better.
To give you a tip, always transact with reputable and experienced tattoo artists. Expect that they will give you advice on the design not just aesthetically but also in terms of following the rules. They will not just go for any design just to make money, but they will work together with you to show your love for the country.
Patriotic and trendy American flag tattoo designs
American flag tattoos range from being simple to overly extravagant. Your choice of design depends actually on how you want to express yourself. To help you with conceptualizing your patriotic American flag tattoo design, check out some of the best and trendiest designs you can always consider:
Stand alone American flag tattoo
This is probably the most straightforward design of an American flag tattoo. This is usually done as a small or medium-sized tattoo with the exact replica of the American flag. This may be done in full color or in a monochromatic color.
American flag with eagle tattoo
The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, is the most popular accent to the American flag tattoo.
Fluttering American flag
It is also a good tattoo design to have the American flag that is fluttering freely in the wind. This is a very symbolic tattoo because aside from patriotism, this design embodies freedom. It can also be a reminder to people that the freedom they are experiencing today had come from a huge struggle.
American flag bandana tattoo
The veterans have used the bandanas that have the designs of the flag as a sign of empathy to the nation. This same message is portrayed by a bandana with an American flag pattern tattoo.
American flag and soldier tattoo
This tattoo design incorporates symbols of soldiers such as guns and boots. This is a tattoo that honors the lost soldiers.
United States map with flag pattern tattoo
This is a more creative way of designing the American flag tattoo while still highlighting your love for the country. You can have the tattoo of the map of the United States and fill in the shape with the pattern of the American flag.
Leg wrap American flag tattoo
This is another creative tattoo design where the flag seems to be fluttering freely on a pole. The fluttering flag is placed as a semi-wrap on the leg. Another great thing about this leg wrap tattoo is that you can have landscapes drawn at the base of the pole. This will make it appear like the flag is fluttering freely in a natural American landscape.
Ripped skin American flag tattoo
This is a very sophisticated and complicated 3D tattoo design. Here, the flag appears to be underneath the ripped skin of the wearer.
Another meaningful design of a ripped skin tattoo concept is the scratches of the claws of an eagle on the skin. The inside of the scratches is that of the pattern of the American flag.
American flag sleeve tattoo
A lot of men choose the American flag as the main subject of their sleeve tattoo. The flag drapes from the upper arm to the forearm. However, others go for a sleeve from the shoulder down to the upper arm. This makes the flag look like a blanket securing and protecting the wearer.
Another great version of the American flag tattoo is designing the sleeve with other American symbols. This includes a combination of the American flag, the statue of liberty, the presidents’ sculptures in Mount Rushmore and so much more. Combinations like this on the arm are very obvious depictions of one’s love and pride for the country.
Inspirational American flag tattoos
You can also add words into the American flag tattoos such as “proud of my country,” “love,” “pride,” and “blessed.”
American flag with other flag tattoo
If you have another country close to your heart, you can ink a small tattoo of these two flags in poles that form an X shape.
Never forget American flag tattoo
The September 11 bombing of the Twin Towers had opened up a lot of Americans to showcase their love for the country through American flag tattoo. The most common 9/11 American flag tattoo design is a simple full-color flag with a 9/11/01 at the bottom. Others even add the phrase “never forget” in the tattoo.
If you have noticed, American flag tattoos are simply patterns and colors of the flag. The flag can stand on its own or can be combined with a lot of elements to make the message more powerful.
Creative American flag tattoos
If you want to go off the usual choices of American tattoo designs, you can always use your creativity and imagination to come up with unique designs. Some of the most popular options are as follows:
Creative American flag and eagle tattoo
Although the American flag and the eagle are best partners for a patriotic tattoo, you can come up with a more creative design. One beautiful example is a tattoo of the head of the eagle with its feathers patterned and colored with the American flag. The result is a beautiful patriotic image that is quite unique from the usual flag and eagle tattoo designs.
Another beautiful design of a combination of the American flag and the eagle is an eagle with its wings wide open. The wings cover the whole span of the back, which gives the tattoo more power and appeal. Same with the above concept, the colors and patterns of the feathers of the eagle are similar to the flag. Even at a distance, this tattoo design will catch attention and will obviously show off one’s patriotism.
American flag on state initials
One great way to showcase the state where you came from is through tattooing the initials of your state on any part of the body. To add a more patriotic element to this, the initials come with the pattern and the colors of the American flag.
Cross American flag tattoo
This is a very small tattoo design that uses a small cross filled with the American flag pattern and colors. This is best placed on the leg and the forearm.
Bow American flag tattoo
The bow tattoo design is more on the creative side of the American flag tattoo designs as this focuses more on enhancing the aesthetics. Here, a medium-sized bow comes colored in American flag patterns.
Dreamcatcher with an American flag tattoo
This is a very beautiful tattoo art with a basic dream catcher that have an American flag accent. The accent is a patterned ribbon adorning one side of the dreamcatcher.
Star American flag tattoo
This is another small tattoo that is best placed on the wrist, the hand and the arm. Here, a five-pointed star (similar to the stars in the flag) has the colors of the American flag.
Butterfly American tattoo
Just like the rest of the concepts, this design is a shape of a butterfly with the pattern and colors of the American flag. Though this is not the most common American flag tattoo, this is a subtle way of showing off your pride.
American flag-patterned arrow tattoo
This is another creative design parallel arrows make up the stripes of the American flag. Fifty arrow heads, meanwhile, replace the stars of the flag. This design works best in black ink and despite this color choice, the design is still an obvious patriotic American tattoo.
Please keep in mind that though your imagination is the limit when it comes to creative American flag tattoos, there may be designs that may be disrespectful for other people. Therefore, always consult with your tattoo artist and even friends and family members. This is to ensure that a lot of people will appreciate and accept your form of expressing your love for the country.
But considering the liberated form of expression these days, more and more people are accepting creative presentations of flag tattoos. Though this does not mean everyone will appreciate the design, there is a wider understanding of how one portrays his or her patriotism to the country. It’s a free a country, after all.
Size and placement options for American tattoos
What is actually beautiful about American tattoos is that you can go for really small or really big designs. No matter the size, the meaning will not change a bit. Indeed, even if your tattoo is as small as a coin, this means the same thing as a whole sleeve tattoo of the flag. Your choice of whether you want something big or small depends on how you want to express yourself. This also depends on how much skin and money you are willing to pay for the tattoo.
In terms of placement, American flag tattoos can work greatly anywhere in the body. However, this may not be true on intimate areas. Those who want to shout out their love for the country all the time can opt for visible areas. This includes the arms, wrists, hands, neck and legs. On the other hand, those who would want the tattoo placement to be meaningful place their American flag tattoo on or near the chest.
Other great yet less visible placements of American flag tattoos include the back, the shoulders, the side of the stomach and the thighs. Overall, wherever you think the flag can be appropriately placed on your body, you can do so. If you are not sure about your choice, you can always consult your tattoo artist.