The German people are a proud people and will represent their country no matter where they are living in the world. Much like many countries in the world, the people of Germany have a great deal of pride in regard to their nationality. They show this pride in many ways. Clothing and jewelry are some ways that people represent their country. Another way many people choose to show their pride is by getting a tattoo.
There are many symbols in German culture that represent what the people are about you’ve got the flag as an obvious choice and using those colors in other ways. However, there are other symbols that represent the history and culture of Germany and many people of German ancestry choose to get these symbols tattooed on their bodies. When done right, the German tattoo can be a beautiful piece of artwork on your body.
In this post we are going to talk about some of the history of these German symbols and what they represent for the German people. We will also delve into the German tattoo meaning based on the symbol we are looking at. There are plenty of variations of this tattoo with different symbols so we will talk about those and what they mean for people that choose to get these tattoo. We hope you learn a little more about German culture by the time you are finished reading this and maybe you will get your own German tattoo.
German Tattoo Meaning
The German tattoo meaning revolves around pride for your country. It’s really that simple. Some of the symbols that we are going to talk about do represent different traits that the people of Germany embody, but as a whole, the tattoo is a symbol of the pride that one has for their country of origin.
German Tattoo Variations and Symbols
Below is a list of culturally important symbols to the people of Germany and those of German heritage. We will list some of our favorite symbols that are used for tattoos and talk about the origin of the symbol and what it represents.
Coat of Arms of Germany Tattoo
This is probably the most notable symbol of Germany outside of the German flag. This symbol shows a golden banner with a black eagle imposed on it. This eagle has a red beak, red feet and a red tongue. This eagle is known as the Bundesadler or the “Federal Eagle.” It was previously known as the Reichsadler which is German for the “Imperial Eagle.”
There isn’t an older existing state symbol in Europe that is older than this and it is one of the oldest in the world. The history of this emblem is very old too and to the people of Germanic tribes, the eagle on this insignia is Odin’s bird. This symbol is revered as a representation of the invincibility, the emperor and the supreme god. It eventually became a part of medieval symbolism but either way, the coat of arm of Germany is an extremely popular tattoo for those that are representing this country.
Deutscher Michel Tattoo
This image looks great in a tattoo especially when you find an artist that specializes in realism style tattooing. The Deutscher Michel translates to German Michael and is a representation of the national character of the people of Germany. In comparison, the United States uses Uncle Same as this same kind of symbol.
The German Michael is generally shown as wearing a nightgown and nightcap and sometimes in the colors of Germany. The Germans connect with this image because of their easy-going nature and the common man appearance of the German Michael. In this sense, you can see why someone would want to associate themselves with this image and getting a tattoo of it is a great way to represent your German heritage.
Flag of Germany Tattoo
The flag of Germany is clearly one of the most popular and recognizable German tattoos in existence. This flag runs horizontal bars of black, red and gold. It was first recognized as the national flag in 1919 during the Weimar Republic.
We see this tattoo inked in a variety of creative ways ranging form the normal flag tattooed on the body, to the good ole’ ripped skin tattoo in which the skin is peeling away to reveal the German flag for all to see. It is a great symbol with no question about what you are trying to represent.
The Iron Cross Tattoo
This symbol is somewhat controversial as it was a military decoration starting back in the Kingdom of Prussia and later in 1871 during the German Empire. However, Nazi Germany also used this symbol between the years of 1933 and 1945. The iron cross was normally only used as a military decoration but some civilians were awarded this this symbol for performing tasks for the military.
One should be careful when getting this tattoo as it might give the wrong idea, but if you happen to get it, be prepared to have a conversation about what it symbolizes for those that might ask.
The heraldic eagle or the Imperial Eagle, was born from the standard of Roman eagles and used by the Holy Roman Emperors. In addition, it was used in modern coats of arms of Germany. In modern used, the Reichsadler is a symbol of unity within the nation. It is another symbol that happens to be very popular among people that want to get something that will represent them and their country.
To have a little bit of fun, the Oktoberfest tattoo can be a lot of things but we often see it as a beer mugs with a German flag worked into the tattoo or some mugs with Oktoberfest written somewhere in the tattoo. It makes a lot of sense that someone might get an Oktoberfest tattoo because they probably don’t remember much of it after they have left.
The point is you can either have German tattoos with serious meaning or some that offer a little bit of fun.