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Author: admin | Category: Fish Tattoo | 15.09.2015

If a sailor sees a swallow bird, he has the confidence that the land is near and makes his way towards land with great enthusiasm. In most cases it deals with either the sparrows showing the sailors the way home or letting them know that land was close by, or it has to do with the sailors getting their own swallow tattoos after having traveled so many thousands of miles by sea. I am not sure anyone really knows the meaning of the swallow tattoos but I would think one can be sure that one of those meanings is freedom.
Their origins go back to a long time ago and has to do mostly with sailors but hey have recently taken on many different meanings to any different peoples around the world. Most swallow tattoos now days have something to do with boyfriends and girlfriends and their love and commitment to each other. This is another good example of a good mix between a tattoo and a memorial or tribute to someone. The history of swallow bird tattoos takes us back to British and Norwegian sailors who started a tradition to show off their sailing experience as they would get a swallow tattoo after completing their sailing journey. There are many theories about swallow tattoos and how it became a popular trend amongst sailors, however the most popular one is that when a sailor completes his first 9,260 kilometers he would get tattooed with one swallow and after completing 18,520 km journey he’d get 2 swallows tattooed. Other theory says that since swallows every year return to the same place to nest and mate, the swallow will bring good luck for the sailor to return home safely, therefore they take it as a symbol of luck, safeguard and prosperity. Same people say that a new sailor would get a swallow tattooed on his arm prior to leaving for sailing, and then when he comes back to the home port, he would get the second one tattooed. Swallow bird’s general perception is of care, love, prosperity and affection for friends and family. As aforementioned all the British Royal Navy’s ex-sailors are tattooed with one or two swallows on their both hands, because they believed that it is a symbol of a successful journey.
Rich in history and symbolism in so many countries, swallow tattoos are in trend these days. Core design of swallow tattoos are generally designed in combination with flowers, butterflies, stars, sailing ships and cherries. Different people, different personalities, they all have their own messages to convey through these beautiful swallow bird tattoos, but one thing that will always inspire you for sure, which is the fact they make you feel positive and optimistic about how beautiful out life is. The last couple of years old school tattoos have been gaining popularity again, up to a point where we can call them trendy. There is a difference, though – the old school tattoos might be the same, but the feeling around them is different. Sailors and marines where the pioneers when it comes to Western tattooing, so it's not hard to see why anchors and boats appear so often in old school designs (Click here for more military tattoos). The swallow is a sailor symbol and turns up in many old school designs, just like the eagle (Click here for more swallow tattoos). Pin up girls were models (like Betty Grable) who's photos and posters were very popular the first half of the 20th century.


Old school tattoos are usually simple in design, with a lot of black ink and little color because in the early years of tattoo art there wasn't a big choice of colored tattoo ink.
Sailor Jerry joined the navy when he was 19 and traveled around the world, getting his first tattoos and gaining exposure to the tattoo art of Southeast Asia. He opened his first tattoo parlor in Honolulu's Chinatown, a place where sailors gathered to drink, pay for women and get tattoos. They also produce Sailor Jerry rum, based on the rum that sailors used to make on board of their ship.
Winston Churchill, the famous English World War II politician, had an anchor tattoo on his arm. George Clooney has a fake (temporary) old school star tattoo on his chest in the film From Dusk Till Dawn. A lot of the meanings you can find for such tattoos are the same meanings that you will find for sparrow tattoos and that doesn’t make any sense to me but they are both small birds so maybe that is why the meanings are so similar.
Yes, in some ways they are all the same, but of course in many ways they are all different too. As in, two free souls who have found each other and in doing so have found flight together and all that kind of sweet stuff.
During the early days of sailing, British sailors used to have barn swallow tattoos on their hands, neck and chest as a symbol of proud. The reason why they get tattooed with swallow is because it’s a symbol of dedication and hard work as it is extremely difficult to travel such great distance and during the early days of a sailor’s journey they believe it is dangerous and need courage to accomplish it. Other belief associated with it is that if something unexpected happens and the sailor drowns, the swallow will carry his soul the heaven. I’m not sure if it is a myth or reality but same sailors believes that after sailing all the 7 oceans they would get their skin inked with a swallow tattoo as it will be a memory of victory that will stay with them even after death. Back in 19th century fighters in England used to have swallow tattoos as it means “These fists fly”.
They are usually inked on body parts where they can be easily seen such as shoulder, wrist, bicep, lower back, waist and ankle. The old school designs we see today are more colorful compared to the originals, thanks to the evolution of tattoo equipment. His tattoo designs are known all over the world and are in vogue again, thanks to the old school revival. The royalties to his tattoo flash are now owned by two of his students, Ed Hardy and Mike Malone. Started by girls that were into retro, like those from the rockabilly scene, the old school designs got more and more mainstream and thereby reviving the art of Sailor Jerry.
Most all the meanings that can be found for swallows relate to sailors one way or the other.


And perhaps the biggest reason in favor of getting a swallow tattoo is simply because they are totally non-threatening to everyone. You can pick and choose from probably millions of possibilities if you want one of the swallow tattoos put on you. The inside of the wings is mostly a dark red, with the edges tinted with a light orange color. The halo on the birds head is a golden yellow with a sparkle on the edge, as if its shining. So if you see a sailor with one or more swallows tattooed on his body, he’s definitely an experienced one. Call it superstition or anything else, but this is the reality and sailors have been doing it for so many years. Swallow tattoos also symbolizes British tradition and Sailor Jerry style of tattoo designing, as he was one of the most prominent and talented tattoo artists in world. People like them because it conveys the message and symbolic meaning of survival, victory and character shown by a person in struggle. This beautiful bird is associated with faith, loyalty, wealth, health and brings good luck for long distance journeys. Old school tattoos never quite disappeared from view, but a few decades ago they did sort of fade into the background. Sailor tattoos are no longer the sole property of a certain subculture, like they used to be. The outside of the wings are a light blue color, as is the rest of the birds body, and is mixed with a hint of white as if light was shining off of it. These days it’s a fashion trend for merchant navy people as they relate it to their profession. And you make your swallow tattoo pretty much stand for anything that you want it to stand for. If you like swallow tattoos, check out a bunch of them and get the one that suits you the best.
A swallow tattoo is a symbol of freedom, and mixing that meaning with theses colors was definitely a good idea. And in this case, the swallow tattoo is the symbol that brings these salty men the peace of mind they so desire.



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