Tattoos have three categories: decorative with no specific meaning, symbolic with a specific meaning, and pictorial with a depiction of a person/item.
Historically, tattoos have been regarded as uncivilized, and over the last 100 years, the fashion was mainly connected with sailors, workers, as well as criminals. By the end of the previous century, a lot of Western stigmas of the tattoo culture were dismissed, and the practice became more acceptable, as well as accessible, one for people of all trades and society levels. Here, we will present you two interesting tattoos, each of them with its symbolic meaning:
- The Battle Royale tattoo.
The Battle Royale tattoo is history in the flesh – it is a defining symbol of eastern vs. western style of tattooing, at the turn of the 19th century.
The Battle Royale is a timeless tattoo design that includes an ages-old symbolic theme that represents opposing forces locked in combat. The combatants are said to be locked into “mortal combat.”
The most frequent images which are used are those of a bird of prey, such as an eagle, which is the representative of the Sun, the sky and the heavens too; and a serpent, like a snake, which is the representative of the Earth, as well as the life-giving waters. When these two come together, even though sometimes it may happen with some other animal additions, they represent the forces of creation and fertility, as well as the forces of nature, which are ever in opposition but always in balance.
- The Battleship tattoo.
Nowadays, as in the past, much of a maritime tattoo art takes the symbolic forms of the sailing vessels on which the mariners spend so much of their time. The battleship, being a ship of war, is usually drawn bristling with gun turrets, cutting through the water, symbol of authority and power, anchors at the prow.
However, the dominance of the battleship has been ended by the advantages of the aircraft carrier, not to mention Pearl Harbor, and their construction was stopped in 1945 with the end of the Second World War.
Even though a battleship tattoo could depict the U.S.S. Missouri, decommissioned in 1992, it is more likely a bit of nostalgia, and it is often done in the classic style of the era – with dark black outlines, as well as bold colors.