Flame Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

Chances are that you have seen someone that has a tattoo of a flame, or a tattoo with flames within it.

This is a concept that artists from all backgrounds can come to appreciate. The sight of flames brings a sort of excitement to most people. Fire is an element that man has grown to use as a tool and has provided for survival since the beginning of time.

Fire, like most of the elements, can either be beneficial, or it can be hazardous. We use the flames of fire for warmth, cooking food, and bending metals. Without proper supervision however or under unforgivable circumstances, fire can destroy anything in its path; including our homes. Having the images of fire can say a lot about oneself as well. Below will be different flame tattoo designs, the symbolism behind it, and placement suggestions.


Flames can be both beneficial and dangerous to humans. Because anything that seems to look dangerous excites some people, getting a tattoo of flames is a real head-turner. The fire itself is an element that is quite powerful when left running wild. Just about every year there is a problem in the western states, especially California, with wildfire.

The fires start from the dry climate, the extreme temperatures mixed with dry woodland areas cause crazy fires that spread in an instant. The image of a flame can signify many things. It can be said that you have a burning passion for something. It says that you are not to be messed with or you might get scorched. The tattoo of flames is not only a cautionary sign that you are in the presence of a badass, it shows you have a strong will and a fire burning inside.


When it comes to tattoos such as flames and fire, the designs and styles of a graphic such as this are infinite. Even adding flames to an already existing tattoo can strengthen the meaning. For instance, a tattoo of a baseball on fire can represent your burning passion for the sport itself. It also makes it look as if the baseball was thrown at a lightning-fast speed causing it to catch fire. Below are examples of different flame designs and ideas.


The flame tattoo is a great and popular idea amongst firemen and firefighters. Because they are prepared to take on fire and save lives every day and every night, a flame is a classic firefighter graphic. Oftentimes, the firefighter will have a tattoo of something such as a fireman’s helmet.

This is a part of the firefighter uniform that is extremely vital to the individual. The hard hat protects the fireman from debris falling on their head and killing them. A tattoo of a fireman’s hard hat engulfed in flames not only looks really neat but is relevant as well.

The two fireman axes crossed in an X shape placed on the fireman’s badge is another graphic that one could get with flames in the background. A graphic such as this further explains what the two crossing axes are for. Either one of these tattoos requires a lot of space to be used in order for the tattoo to look good. It is suggested that you choose a spot for this body art where it will be displayed clearly. The upper arm is a great place or even the chest or pectoral region.

Skulls on Fire

If you are one who has a dark sense of humor, or you find joy in things such as skeletons and skulls, the flaming skull tattoo may just be for you. This tattoo may not mean anything but it sure is a neat graphic and makes for a cool, old-school tattoo. This hellish tattoo can be done in a number of different ways. You can have a couple of skulls as the base, with flames coming out from them and rising above.

This makes it look like the skulls are being used as a means of the fire to feed off. The number of skulls you want to engulf in flames is entirely up to you, even just one skull looks neat with flames shooting from the eye sockets and mouth. Yet again, this is a tattoo that could take up a decent amount of space on your body.

A great place to have this tattoo would be on the forearm. You could even start this piece off at the wrist, with the skulls and bones as a base. Adding flames rising from the skulls and up the forearm adds to the creativity and uniqueness of this tattoo.

Burning Heart

Setting a heart on fire seems a bit crude, but it is a classic old-school style of tattooing that looks neat. Having a tattoo of a heart that is on fire can say a number of different things about you. It could mean that you are a very passionate person who has a burning love for romance. It could even mean you are tired of being heartbroken, setting the heart on fire as a way of saying ‘love sucks’.

Having a lover’s initials along with yours inside of the heart can also give the tattoo a different meaning. It can represent the burning love of the two individuals. A tattoo such as this is a pretty simple and basic design that can virtually fit wherever you would like it. This makes for a great small wrist tattoo or even on the ankle.

Rising Flames

If you are not so much into the idea of having flames mixing in with another graphic, that is fine. A tattoo of just flames looks just as good and is very thought-provoking. Normally, this is a tattoo that makes it look as if your body is being engulfed with flames, it also gives it the kind of human torch vibe as well.

Flames all need to start somewhere, and the perfect spot for this would be the wrist. Having the flames wrap around your wrist and going up and around your arm gives the tattoo the effect of you being on fire. Starting the flames from the ankle works as well. Others may even get the flames wrapping around their shoulders, making it look like their body is caught on fire.


This is one of those tattoos that if there is no color on it, it may be hard to decipher. Common flame and fire colors include red, yellow, orange, and sometimes even blue. If you get this tattoo along with a graphic of something being set on fire, the graphic itself does not have to be in color, the flames however definitely should. Bright red, orange, and yellow flames are sure to stick out and make for an incredible piece of body art.

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