Black Rose Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

When looking for obscure tattoos, there are a lot of directions one can go in. Everyone tries to be a little bit different from the person next to them and the tattoo enthusiast is already in that genre to begin with. However, if they want to separate themselves even more, they can start looking into unique tattoos that other people with tattoos don’t usually get. The black rose might be one of those tattoos.

The red rose tattoo is one of the most popular tattoo designs in the world, but the black rose tattoo is slowly catching up. While the red rose has a small list of deep meanings, the black rose tattoo can have a ton of meanings. There are meanings that are well know and then some that are less known. Your best bet is to ask the person with the tattoo what it means to them but otherwise, we can tell you what some of the more common meanings are.

In this post we are going to discuss the black rose tattoo and what it symbolizes. We will also talk about the different ways people display the black rose tattoo on their body and depending on what images are tattooed with the rose, what this tattoo means. By the end of the post, we hope you have a better understanding of the black rose tattoo and some of the different meanings of this image.

Black Rose Tattoo Meaning

The classic rose tattoo has always had something to do with love, so it’s no surprise that some black rose tattoos mean the exact same thing. In these cases, the owner basically got a classic rose tattoo but decided to go with no color. These aren’t necessarily “black roses,” but they are cool designs since they can have a huge list of meanings.


One of the most common reasons why people get the black rose tattoo is when they want to show that there has been a death of a friendship or love. It doesn’t necessarily mean that those people have died, but it could. Sometimes people feel those losses so strongly that they have to give themselves a permanent reminder. As is the case with other black rose tattoo meanings, people who get this tattoo for this reason could change their minds later and still have a meaningful tattoo.


Similarly, the black rose tattoo can also signify that the owner is grieving or was grieving when they got the tattoo. For example, it is not uncommon at all for people to get a black rose tattoo when they lose a parent. It’s both beautiful and meaningful, which is exactly how those people want to remember the ones they lost. This version of the black rose tattoo can either be the rose alone or it could include a person’s name with other designs around it.


It might come as a surprise, but the black rose tattoo can also mean hope. Back in the day, sailors would get black rose tattoos if they were unsure if they were ever going to make it back home. In this way, the black rose represents a hope for a miracle since so many sailors lost their lives at sea. These days, soldiers and anyone else who puts their lives on the line can get the black rose tattoo for this reason. It can also have a double meaning in that soldiers and sailors see a lot of death but are hoping to make it home alive.


Sometimes people get a black rose tattoo to show off their rebellious side. Considering that the classic rose tattoo is red and colorful, a black rose could be considered the anti-classic. It shows that the person is not all about the pretty things in life, but instead they have a very dark and mysterious side. This version of the tattoo will often have more images surrounding it, including skulls, and other darker imagery.

Rejuvenation and Rebirth

The black rose tattoo can also represent rejuvenation and rebirth. While you might look at the black rose tattoo and thing it only represents the darker side of life, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, the black rose tattoo can represent the death of old ways or habits and the beginning of new ones. Whenever there is an end to an era, a new era begins where a better path can be taken, or a different outlook can be used. This isn’t a new idea either. Skulls are sometimes used to represent rebirth, and, in most cases, they are used to represent death so keep an open mind when you are thinking of the black rose tattoo.


Another meaning for the black rose tattoo is for a deep devotion. The black rose might represent a tragic love for some but for other is means pure and deep devotion. When a black rose is given to someone or a black rose is tattooed on a person in honor of someone, it is another way of saying that their devotion is as deep and rare as the black rose is.


You might get the black rose tattoo out of revenge or hatred. In old movies, roses were sometimes left on the bodies of the deceased. When this tattoo is had for an enemy, it represents the feeling of revenge and vengeance.

Strength and Courage

On a more positive note, the black rose tattoo can be representation of strength and courage. The Irish used this symbol to represent resistance and courage when they were fighting the British. There was once a famous political song written in the 16th century called ‘The Little Black Rose’ and it was written as a ballad devoted to the strength and courage exhibited by the Irish during their battles.

Political Black Rose

Back to the Irish, the black rose was known to represent Irish nationalists. It was once a word that used to describe Ireland when the British weren’t allowing the mention of Ireland being as sovereign nation. It was also used as a symbol for anarchist movements in Ireland outside of just a nationalist meaning.


In fiction stories, the black rose and the color are used to represent the darker sides of life. Many monsters are shown wearing black in the movies as we have a connection with monsters and the dark.

As you can see, there are plenty of meanings for the black rose tattoo, which is probably why it has become so popular in recent years. It could mean one thing to the owner when they get it, but that meaning could change as they get older. This is one tattoo design that people rarely regret getting since they don’t have to stick with one meaning.

The key for you when getting your black rose tattoo is to find an artist that is experienced in doing floral tattoos. Some might assume that all artists can nail the floral tattoo, but this is simply not true. Fortunately, most artists have a portfolio online for people to look at and you don’t have to go into the shop to find the kind of work they do.

This saves a ton of time, and you can narrow down your search. Once you have an idea of an artist based on their portfolio, give them a call and set up a consultation. The key to the consultation is to make sure you trust and feel comfortable with the tattoo artist. This is a big deal so don’t get the tattoo if you aren’t comfortable with the artist.

If you have been searching and you are still having a hard time finding someone to tattoo your black rose tattoo, let us know. We have years of experience at matching up customers to an artist that will hammer out a beautiful tattoo. Let the team at Tattoo SEO help. We would love to.

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