The Join or Die tattoo is a great option for anyone looking to get a patriotic tattoo that can really grab some attention. Some people have never heard of this phrase before, but most would understand at least one of the meanings attached to it when they first see or hear it.
On this page, we are going to take a look at some of the meanings that can be used with the Join or Die tattoo as well as some of the many ways that you can get these tattoos designed.
Back in 1754, Benjamin Franklin popularized the phrase and came up with the same design that is used today in many people’s Join or Die tattoos. It is a snake broken up into eight pieces, with each piece representing one of the eight colonies that were around back then. Each of those colonies is marked over the top of a piece of the snake with its initials.
Many people who look at the Join or Die tattoo know that it is a snake in the image, but they don’t understand why it is broken up into pieces. This is why many people assume that there is some grotesque meaning attached to these tattoos, though that couldn’t be further from the truth. It certainly does make for a striking image, but what it really represents is the fact that only when working together can a nation (or a snake) perform to its fullest.
The Join or Die tattoo is a fantastic option for anyone who wants to show that they love being a citizen of the United States. American flags and eagles are far higher up the patriotic tattoo rankings, but the Join or Die tattoo is certainly one of the coolest ways to show your pride in your country. Most people who use this meaning will get the original design made by Benjamin Franklin, but some will get a bit creative with their tats and make something slightly different.
Another reason why someone might choose to get the Join or Die tattoo is because they love the history of the image. It has been used as a propaganda image during multiple wars and it has always seemed to have an impact on people who see it for the first time. Some folks will add the image to a larger historical piece, though there are some people who will get the broken snake alone simply because they really like the look of it and the impact it has had on the United States over the years.
The Join or Die tattoo can also be a great choice for anyone looking to get a unique military tattoo design. Some people see joining the military as a rite of passage and the words written above or below the snake really hit home for them. The snake can be the lone part of the tattoo or other military images can be included in a larger piece.
The Join or Die tattoo is a fantastic design to get if you like the message that it sends and you happen to like the meanings attached to the snake itself. The snake symbolizes transformation and energy, which are two fantastic meanings to have in any tattoo, but you also get to use all of the meanings used with the Join or Die design. If all of these meanings work for you, then this is probably the best tattoo that you can get.
In most cases, people elect to get the exact same Join or Die tattoo image that was included in the Pennsylvania Gazette back in the 1700s. It is an iconic image and it seems to have more of an impact than any of the newer pictures that have popped up over the years. Most will even keep the coloring as simple as possible to match the look of the old newspaper ad.
What’s great about the Join or Die tattoo is that you can easily make small changes to the original design to make it your own. All that really matters to stay true to the original is to have a snake split up into eight pieces and to have the words somewhere in the image. Besides those things, you can do anything you want to with the tattoo and you can use all of the same meanings that are used with the original image.
Anyone who wants to get a larger patriotic tattoo or wants to include more images in the tat they already have might find that the Join or Die tattoo is the perfect addition. For obvious reasons, one of the most common images that people like to add to their Join or Die tattoos is the American flag. The flag can be above or below the snake, or it can even be incorporated into the snake’s skin for a cool effect.
Because of the shape of the design, most people opt to get their Join or Die tattoos on their forearms. It’s very easy to design the snake part of the tattoo directly down the middle of the forearm and then put the text right underneath it. It can also look great on the chest or, if you want to make it a vertical tattoo, you can make the snake go down your leg. Those who choose to only get the text in their designs can even make it work as a hand tattoo with “Join” on one hand and “or Die” on the other.
Hopefully you can now see why so many people choose to get the Join or Die tattoo and you have a better idea of whether it is the right design for you or not. It is a classic image that still means a lot to people today because it represents the beginnings of the United States and a mentality to do something with your life. Expect to see more of these Join or Die tattoos pop up in the future as more people learn about what it represents.