One of the growing trends in body art this year is the popularity of the dog tag tattoos. Long associated with those in the military, these tags were stamped with the name and a serial number of the soldier so the body could be easily identified in the case they were wounded or killed in action.
While the information on military dog tags is designed to save a soldier’s life, today in tattoo form they can take on a completely different meaning for the wearer.
Before you choose to go with the dog tag tattoos, consider the diversity in meanings in your design.
The History of the Dog Tags
Before the dog tags became widely used in the military, soldiers used to pin their identification to their uniforms before heading into battle.
While various materials had been used since then, it was in 1913 that the standard dog tags you see today became widely used across all military fields. The idea was to at the least provide identification in the form of the soldier’s name and number, with two tags places on a single chain and worn around the neck.
Today many people memorialize a loved one who has passed and was in the military by getting inked with the dog tag tattoos and that personal name.
Dog Tag Tattoo Meanings
While these dog tag tattoos are an obvious reference to those who have or are serving in the military, the meanings associated with them are as vast as the names inked on each tag. For those who are actively in the military, these tags are a permanent reminder of their commitment to their country, their devotion, love, and pride in what they stand for.
For others, when the tags are a reminder of a loved one who has passed, they tend to symbolize faith, love, and remembrance.
There is no mistaking the dog tags when you see them, so whether a source of pride or a dedication to a loved one, the meaning is deep and powerful for the wearer.
Variations of Dog Tag Tattoos
Regardless if this tattoo is to symbolize a commitment to the military or a tribute to a fallen soldier, there are many ways to alter the design and give it an even more personal connection. Various symbols can be incorporated into the design that is related to the military, like bullets, boots, rifle, guns, or a helmet.
Some prefer to incorporate the American eagle or US flag in the design, which only adds to the power of the imagery. One creative way to transform the artwork is getting one tag inked with the name of the fallen soldier and the other with some inspirational quote that connects the two.
Today, these dog tag tattoos can be inked alone or various other elements like a rosary, cross, or even praying hands. Women who get inked with the dog tags tend to prefer angels and roses incorporated into the design.
This particular tattoo design is not only worn by those in the military, anyone could have an interest in dog tags because they are very beautiful and have such a powerful connection to the past.