Anchor Tattoos: 100+ Ideas to Symbolize Strength and Stability

It is surprising to know why some people love to have anchor tattoos on their skin. We think of them as sailors, or maybe they like watching Popeye cartoons in their childhood. However, the anchor symbol has a deeper meaning than we thought.

anchor-tattoosIt was in ancient times when the anchor was used to symbolize Christianity. The Christians suffered from the Roman prosecution, the symbol was used to warn other Christians to be vigilant with the Romans.

Every person has different meanings for their anchor tattoos. Back then, it was a tradition for the US Navy to have a tattoo after they crossed the Atlantic Ocean. We have here different ideas for anchor tattoos and some guides on how to take care of them.

The Meaning Behind Anchor Tattoos

When you try to visualize an anchor, the 4 points will look like a cross balanced and at rest. The cross between the vertical line and the horizontal line represents the unity between spirit and matter.

How does an anchor symbolize hope? Have you seen an anchor being lifted from the water? After the anchor is raised, the ship is ready for another voyage.

Just like humans, we are drowned by the difficulties of life. Yet, we will always rise and be ready for a new adventure waiting for us.

As the ship sets saills, we become eager to tackle life with excitement and hope for what is planned ahead of us. When we have an anchor tattoo, it gives us the encouragement to follow the course of our plans and be steadfast in making decisions while reaching our dreams.

Anchors represent the principles that keep us grounded. It gives us the mindset to hold on to the rules that govern us. When an anchor is brought down from a ship, it metaphorically gives the person the sense noto be driven by any trials in life.

When we experience chaos in our lives, we are reminded by our anchor tattoos and not be swayed by the problems that surrounds us. Regardliess of the uncertainty, the representation of the anchor keeps us bound on our beliefs.

Every person has a deep meaning to their anchor tattoo, they surely have their own strong connections. For those who happen to experience an unfathomable past, the anchor is a perfect representation of their personality.

Anchor Tattoo Variations: What Design to Get?

After we have discussed the general representation of anchor tattoos. There are a couple of elements you can choose from to put in your tattoo design. You can modify the meaning of your anchor tattoo under the culture or organization that you want to represent.

Navy Anchor Tattoos

The United States Navy has an anchor tattoo that is popular among those who have served the country. The servicemen have this tattoo to tell the world their devotioin to protect the country. Moreover, it represents the US Navy.

Navy anchor tattoos usually have the initials of USN or colors of the American flag.

More than that, some of those who have this tattoo design have lost a family member in the line of serving their naval duty.

Anchor and Rope Tattoos / Anchor and Chain Tattoos

The image of the anchor and rope was first recognized in the family seal of the Lord Howard of Effingham.

After then, the British Navy adopted the insignia of the family of Lord Howard of Effingham. It became the official symbol of the office of the High Admiral.

When it became popular, it was lated adopted by the US Navy. It was the British who led the naval traditions.

When an anchor tattoo is wrapped with a chain or rope, it is called a fouled anchor. It is unlikely to have a fouled anchor when sailors are at sea. It would result in a highly unstable ship.

Thus, it is confusing that this anchor tattoo variation is strangely popular among sailors. It became a de facto symbol of navies.

Eagle and Globe on Anchor Tattoos

When you see an Eagle and a Globe on an anchor tattoo, it is probably the official insignia of the US Marine Corps. It was in 1955 when they adopted the design to be their insignia.

small-anchor-tattooThe Globe shows the Western Hemisphere that consists of North America and South America. It symbolizes their devotion and willingness to serve the world.

Moreover, the Eagle represents the United States. The country is symbolized by an Eagle, which is their national bird. Meanwhile, the anchor is a symbol that payst to the homage of the naval traditions of the country.

Some Eagle and Globe on anchor tattoos have a ribbon in the Eagle’s beak. There is a text embedded in the ribbon, Semper Fidelis, which means always faithful.

Rose and Anchor Tattoos

An anchor tattoo with a rose portrays honor, love, loyalty, and ultimate sacrifice.

Since ancient history, people associate roses with Aphrodite. She was the Greek goddess whom you can see wearing a crown of roses. Aphrodite was the goddess of love.

Moreover, some people claim that roses grew in the place where the crucifixion of Christ took place. Thus, roses became a symbol of the Ultimate Sacrifice.

Other than that, the color of the rose also has meaning on the significance of the tattoo. Most people who have a rose and anchor tattoos have a red rose. It is easier to recognize that you have lost a loved one.

Pink roses on anchor tattoos symbolize loyalty to a person, may it be your child or your first love. Meanwhile, red roses represent love and passion. Other than that, it pays homage to the people who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Heart and Anchor Tattoos

We all know that heart symbolizes the strength of bonds. When compassion, joy, and love is in combination with an anchor for their tattoo design, this kind of anchor tattoo variation is popular with lovers.

The tattoo represents how stable and secure your love life is, and you have a strong connection with your special person.

Tribal Anchor Tattoos

If you are a sailor, you spend most of your life on long voyages to foreign lands. It is common for some sailors to have a design that is greatly influenced by the indigenous cultures they have encountered during their voyages.

Tribal tattoos are deeply associated with culture, family, and nature. It gives us the representation of strong family bonds or culture.

Celtic Anchor Tattoos

Sailors encounter different indigenous people during their long voyage. Thus, they become acquainted with different cultures. That is when the Celtic symbols are associated with the tattoo design. It represents the interdependence of the spiritual elements and the Earth’s connection.

Also See: Best Friend Tattoos – 80+ Tattoo Ideas for Matching Friendship Tattoo

Anchor Tattoos Guide: How to Prevent Tattoo from Fading

Once you have your anchor tattoo, it will forever stay in your skin unless you decide to have it removed. We all want our tattoos to look fresh and good all throughout the years.

When you have a tattoo for a long time, you will notice that it does not look as fresh as it was before. The color became lighter than it was still new on your skin. Now, what you are experiencing is tattoo fading.

Most tattoos fade over time, some will still look good, and some will fade fast. Several factors lead to tattoo fading. Let’s find out what and prevent it.

Factors Why Tattoos Fade

These are the most common factors that make your tattoos fade.

Tattoo placement

Our body is composed of different types of skin, it depends on the area of the body. Thus, tattoo placement is one of the common factors that can affect the longevity of your tattoo.

The parts of the body that creates friction are most likely the places where tattoos fade faster. An example of these parts is the armpit and fingers.


The clothes you wear is also a great factor that can result to tattoo fading. The body parts are likely to brush against your clothes.


Well, did you know that bodyweight changes does not only affect your health? Your weight can also contribute to tattoo fading. When you lose weight or gain weight, it makes the tattoo fade. Especially when your weight is always fluctuating.

Ink Quality

The quality of the ink is also a relevant factor to examine before you get a tattoo. It is a common mistake to settle for cheaper tattoos, notably when it is your first time.

There is a higher risk when you settle for low budget tattoos. With this, you gave in to the chance that your tattoo artist is still a beginner and does not know the techniques yet. If you want to have a tattoo that will last longer, you need to invest some money in it.

Related Questions

Will black and grey tattoos fade?

Just like any other tattoos, black and grey tattoos fade. However, this will depend on how you take care of the tattoo over time. Most of the artist will give an explanation on why the tattoo ink will not permanently look fresh throughout the years.

Will colored tattoos last longer than dark colored tattoos?

You have to remember that tattoos with darker colors will last longer than any other type of tattoos. It also can last longer than colored tattoos. However, there are some factors that you will still have to consider.

An example of this is a beginner tattoo artist, they might not be well-experienced enough by making a mistake by not putting the ink deep enough. Thus, artists should have techniques on how to make their art last longer.

Other anchor tattoo ideas: