If there is one thing that never goes out of style, it’s patriotism. Americans swell with pride when we honor the flag or see the elegant flight of a bald eagle. Supporting the United States is an idea that is intrinsic, part of our DNA and our brave military personnel make the choice every day to keep America safe and secure, even if it means putting their life on the line. It is no wonder then why tattoo parlors must stay current on patriotic tattoo trends and there is a new catalyst.

The situation in the Ukraine has sparked a wave of patriotism there, and worldwide. The young and the old are rushing to tattoo parlors for inspirational tattoos they feel best expresses their love of country.  Not to be outdone, Americans feel just as strongly about their own country, bringing patriotic tattoos to an unprecedented height of popularity.

Joey Hamilton's Tattoo Art

What is a Patriot Tattoo?

Recognized around the globe, a patriot tattoo is for people who want to show the world just how red, blue, black or even golden their blood runs. Their dedication to their country is priority for them, whether they are a member of the military or not. Standing up for their country is part of their soul. An innate sense of pride fills them and displaying the patriotic symbol of their choice speaks to the fact that their country holds nearly as high a place in their heart as their own family.

Your tattoo clients may engage in discussion surrounding speculation as to whether torn or tattered depictions of the flag are disrespectful. The consensus is that these “well worn” flag tattoos are borne from such a deep national pride and the blood, sweat and tears of those who have lost their lives fighting for the country, make them widely accepted and even respected in their own right. Because America is the land of the free and the brave, creative license is given to the artist and the only rendering to avoid is a burning flag, which is considered highly Anti-American.

Why Get a Patriotic Tattoo?

America is a 200+ year experiment in Democracy, and we owe that to the people who not only came before us but who also fought and died for our right to choose our leadership. WWII, the Vietnam War, the war in Afghanistan, and the twin towers on 9/11 have invoked meaning and a sense of valor that people want to not only celebrate but memorialize. And, since there is an unending well of creativity between the tattoo artist and the wearer, patriotic tattoo ideas are nearly infinite.

Popular Patriotic Tattoos for Men

Hands down the most popular patriotic tattoo is that of the American Flag. Although there are hundreds of different ways to style it with various icons such as the American Bald Eagle, Uncle Sam, a skull or dog tags, the flag remains a beloved logo. Also called Old Glory, Stars and Stripes, The Red, White and Blue, and The Star-Spangled Banner, the American Flag stands out as the most recognizable tribute to one’s country. Most Americans crave the bold, horizontal lines and captivating colors that combine symbolism with patriotism that is recognizable around the globe, including:

  • Stylized rips and frayed edges of the American Flag
  • Flags that appear to be carved right into flesh
  • Torn apart or clawed flags
  • American cross (crucifix)
  • ‘We the People’ and others denoting the Constitution
  • Artillery
  • September 11th “Never Forget”
  • Uncle Sam Wants You
  • Draped flags
  • In God We Trust

Who Gets a ‘We the People’ Tattoo?

Be prepared and get your artists ramped up to a common patriotic tattoo request. Could there be any three words that better represent freedom than “We the People”? Since the inception of the United States and its Constitution, those words have encapsulated what it means to be an American. While anyone can get a We the People tattoo, they rank in high popularity with servicemen, their partners and their families. Since the phrase is short, it can be designed in any number of ways using a variety of tattoo ink for a gray scale or full color tattoo. And, it is displayed well as a patriotic sleeve tattoo.

Most Common Patriot Tattoos for Women

Many women (but certainly not all!) will opt for a smaller, less bold patriotic tattoo but that doesn’t mean there is less love of country or a weaker quality of national pride. Sometimes, it’s the subtle things that speak the loudest like a graceful ribbon or red, white and blue shield.  Men tend to want their tats strategically positioned on their biceps, chest, legs, and forearms, while women choose more delicate areas to express their pride in country including hands, shoulder blade, behind the ear, ankle and wrist.

With a steady increase in the number of women in the military over the past couple of decades, females are more and more likely to request a patriotic tattoo than ever before.

Long after the war in Ukraine is over; Americans will be requesting tattoo artists to create spellbinding, badass patriotic tattoos for them to wear proudly - forever on their skin and always in their soul.