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Anchor Tattoo Meaning With 70 Amazing Images For Inspiration

by Sherri Owens

The anchor tattoo is a very versatile tattoo art due to its different symbolisms. It is most popular among sailors and members of the navy. 

A conversation with a retired sailor who came for a tattoo helped me learn a lot about anchor tattoos. He explained that most marine workers get an anchor and flower tattoo design as a way to commemorate their sailing career. Others get the anchor tattoo with a compass as a symbol of direction and safety throughout their travels.

The anchor tattoo meaning is quite astonishing, and learning about them will definitely inspire you to get one drawn on your next tattoo session. Sit back and get ready to screenshot anchor tattoo designs you can recreate.

Anchor Tattoo Meanings

The anchor tattoo has existed for a long time and has a connection with early Christianity. In ancient times, the Romans tormented the Christians for their faith. So the Christians used an anchor in place of a crucifix to avoid persecution. This is why most Christians get the anchor tattoo designs as a symbol of their struggle.

The anchor is called the mariners cross or St. Clement's cross. The anchor was named in memory of the martyr St. Clement of Rome, a Christian who was drowned tied to an anchor.

Most sailors combine the anchor tattoo with the names of their loved ones. This anchor tattoo art served to remind the sailors of their loved ones with hopes of reuniting with them.

Unique Anchor Tattoo Designs To Try

The Flowers Anchor Tattoo

The anchor symbol with a flower tattoo is done for several reasons. It is usually drawn by sailors to commemorate the end of their sailing career. This is because the flowers on the tattoo represent good memories, growth, and honor. Others get a tattoo drawn with the name of a loved one or a phrase that keeps them going when the tide gets too strong.

Most people get the tattoo done in lovely colors. This not only beautifies it but also helps to drive the tattoo meaning home. If you're not a fan of colorful tattoos, you can opt for a single needle or black-inked anchor symbol tattoo. Regardless of your preference, it is impossible to go wrong with a flower and anchor tattoo.

Anchor Rose Tattoo

Image by @pomatattoo via Instagram

Colorful Flowers and Anchor Tattoo

Image by @megevans_tattoo via Instagram

Single Flower Anchor Tattoo

Image by @adri_olala via Instagram

Black Rose and Anchor Tattoo

Image by @tb.tattoo via Instagram

Black and Grey Anchor and Bird Tattoo

Image by @timbecktattoos via Instagram

Anchor Tattoo with Pink Rose and Purple Flowers

Image by @lebarbierofficiel via Instagram

The Anchor Tattoos Design on The Arm

The anchor tattoos on the arm represent strength and courage. You can play with your arm anchor tattoo by getting unique designs like those done with watercolors or the more simple black ink tattoo.

Black and Grey Anchor with Rope Arm Tattoo

Image by @inkart_tattoo_studio via Instagram

Grey Scale Anchor Arm Tattoo

Image by @tatau.beehive via Instagram

Pencil Art Anchor Arm Tattoo

Image by @nakuru_tattoos via Instagram

Anchor Tattoo with Wheels on Arm

Image by @finelinetattoonyc via Instagram

Realistic Anchor Arm Tattoo

Image by @tattoocharis via Instagram

Anchor Tattoo with a Dolphin

Image by @tylbor via Instagram

Anchor with Map Arm Tattoo

Image by @stefanbunja_tattoo via Instagram

Anchor with Text Arm Tattoo

Image by @passion_of_tattoos via Instagram

The Infinity Symbol Anchor Tattoos

In situations of excess wind or a heavy storm, anchors serve to secure the ship or vessel to the bed of the water to prevent falling or capsizing. This is why the anchor tattoo is done with an infinity symbol of a way out of the stormy days forever. The design will serve to remind you to keep pushing through and to be strong through the storm and as long as you don't give up, regardless of the situation, you'll turn out to be fine.

The infinity anchor tattoo is a traditional anchor design that is done in a couple of creative ways. The infinity symbol can be drawn using dots, ropes, or lines. You can get creative with your design for a more personalized tattoo.

Anchor Tattoo with Dotted Infinity Symbol

Image by @sammansbridge via Instagram

Infinity anchor tattoo looped in rope intertwined with tiny roses

Image by @818artist via Instagram

Infinity Rope Anchor Tattoo

Image by @mifamiliatattoos via Instagram

Black and Grey Infinity Anchor Tattoo

Image by @oxygentattoos via Instagram

Infinity Anchor Tattoo with a Heart and Number

Image by @templetattooohio via Instagram

Black Infinity Anchor Arm Tattoo

Image by @flamy_mag via Instagram

Colored Anchor Tattoo with Yellow Infinity Rope

Image by @swampqueenart via Instagram

Small Infinity Anchor Tattoo

Image by @shach_studio via Instagram

The Anchor Tattoo on The Forearm

It's no news that the anchor tattoo represents strength and stability. The forearm is a great spot of choice for this design since it is a part of your body you see every day. Getting your anchor tattoo in a spot you see daily helps keep the meaning of the tattoo in your mind, reminding you to always be strong.

Traditional Anchor Forearm Tattoo

Image by @davidhtattoo via Instagram

Tiny Black Anchor on the Forearm

Image by @artutattooo via Instagram

Colorful Anchor Tattoo with Eagle and Snake

Image by @traditionalkings via Instagram

Black Anchor Forearm Tattoo

Image by @johnnytrendkill via Instagram

Bold Inked Black Anchor Tattoo

Image by @syingertattoos via Instagram

Memorial Anchor Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbyelless via Instagram

The Anchor and Compass Tattoo

With an anchor and a compass, you are sure to never lose your way in the sea. So those who get the anchor tattoo with a compass believe that regardless of the current circumstances, they will definitely find their way.

Anchor and Compass Tattoo

Image by @anchor_ink_tattooz via Instagram

Anchor and Compass Abstract Tattoo

Image by @artline_artist_tattoo via Instagram

Black and Grey Anchor Compass Forearm Tattoo

Image by @kingstattoojaipur via Instagram

Mini Compass and Anchor Tattoo

Image by @romanordtattoo via Instagram

The Back Anchor Tattoos

The back is an amazing spot to get creative with your anchor tattoo. This is because the back provides a large space to bring your imagination to life. Most anchor tattoos drawn on the back are usually bold and colorful.

Even though the back is usually reserved for getting large designs, you can also get small anchor tattoos on the back. You can even add other symbols like skulls, hearts, and ropes to personalize the tattoo.

Water Like Anchor Back Tattoo

Image by @vincendio via Instagram

anchor tattoo design with name

Image by @crazy_ink_tattoozz_raipur via Instagram

Black and Grey Anchor Tattoo Piece

Image by @dreamcatcher_tattoos via Instagram

Big Anchor Tattoo On The Back

Image by @eagleink_ via Instagram

Water Colored Anchor Back Tattoo

Image by @marius.tattoo.54 via Instagram

The Chest Anchor Tattoos

Like the forearm, the chest is also a popular location for anchor tattoos. You can get the design done with other tattoos to make it stand out.

Tiny Anchor Chest Piece

Image by @limink_tattoos via Instagram

Dropping the Anchor Chest Tattoo

Image by @peenutkewlee via Instagram

Black and Bold Anchor Chest Piece

Image by @thebonfiretattoo via Instagram

Realistic Anchor Chest Tattoo

Image by @lazy_inks via Instagram

The Anchor Tattoo on The Hand

The anchor hand tattoo symbolizes strength, devotion, stability, and resilience. Hand tattoos are controversial because their visibility makes them challenging to cover up. But if you're cool with your tattoo design being seen every day, then you can get this done.

Small Black Anchor On the Hand

Image by @t_massari via Instagram

Colored Anchor Hand Piece

Image by @kennyteatattoo via Instagram

Black Anchor Hand Piece

Image by @vinnitats via Instagram

The Butterfly Anchor Tattoo

If you are a lover of nature, then I suggest getting a butterfly anchor tattoo. Butterflies are the paradigm of natural beauty. The butterfly anchor tattoo symbolizes freedom, faith, and transformation.

Black Anchor and Butterfly Hand Tattoo

Image by @julitattoo9 via Instagram

Black Anchor and Yellow Butterfly Tattoo

Image by @marissa.tattoo via Instagram

Grey Anchor and Blue Butterfly Tattoo

Image by @mexicantattooartist via Instagram

Blue and Purple Anchor with Twin Butterflies Tattoo

Image by @smektattoo via Instagram

The Simple Anchor Designs

The simple anchor tattoos are those drawn without the addition of too many designs. The small tattoo is usually done with bold lines and a minimal size for people that prefer the minimalist aesthetic.

Simple Black Anchor Tattoo

Image by @romanordtattoo via Instagram

Small Anchor Tattoo on Hand

Image by @articlegoaink via Instagram

Bold Ink Anchor Hand Tattoo

Image by @artist_roney via Instagram

Anchor tattoo on finger

Image by @dragontattoogallary via Instagram

Tiny Anchor Symbol Tattoo

Image by @bkiwies_420 via Instagram

Tiny Line Anchor Tattoo On Ring Finger

Image by @pifanida via Instagram

The Matching Anchor Tattoos Design

Getting matching anchor tattoos is a lovely way of expressing affection for a loved one or sibling. You can get a simple design done with your partner as a symbol of your love life, or as a symbol of your relationship. You can also get matching tats with your best friend as a sign that you will have each other's backs always.

Matching Twin Anchor Tattoo On Legs

Image by @joeleonardtattoo via Instagram

Anchor and Compass Matching Tattoo

Image by @itattyou via Instagram

Matching Anchor Finger Tattoo

Image by @livetssalttatuering via Instagram

The Anchor Tattoos on The Thigh

Anchor tattoos done on the thigh not only express your boldness and confidence but also looks sexy and seductive. This is why it is usually done by women. You can add colors to your simple anchor design or add other elements like crosses or leaves to beautify the tattoo.

Anchor Tattoo with Colorful Splashes on Thigh

Image by @notacooltattoo.gator via Instagram

Big Black Anchor Thigh Piece

Image by @iamradness via Instagram

Floral Anchor Thigh Piece

Image by @monkeycraft_tattoo via Instagram

The Navy Anchor Tattoo

This is a relatively old-school anchor tattoo design. The US navy and marines usually get an anchor tattoo after crossing the Atlantic ocean as a sign of their accomplishment. The naval anchor tattoo is a symbol of calmness, resilience, and stability.

The tattoo is a long-time favorite because I've always admired those who work in the sea. You can also get this tattoo to honor a loved one's name if they've worked in the navy before.

Tiny Black and Grey Anchor Back Tattoo

Image by @youngflash100 via Instagram

Polynesian USN anchor tattoo

Image by @2bitsmashisttattoos via Instagram

The skull Anchor Tattoo Ideas

If you're looking for an anchor tattoo to show your fierce personality, you can opt for skull anchor tattoos. The skull tattoo symbolizes power, confidence, and strength, and some believe it offers protection to the wearer.

Skull Anchor Chest Tattoo

Image by @tom_boranek_tattoo_artist via Instagram

Colorful Skull Anchor Tattoo

Image by @dannyboytattooing via Instagram

Anchor Tattoo With Quotes

Although most people choose to incorporate texts like mom, dad or any loved one's name in their anchor tattoo, adding quotes is also an amazing way of adding text to your tattoo. The anchor tattoo with text has a deeper symbolism since you can add any saying or motivation of your choice to it. You can also add quotes that are usually said by loved ones that pass away to keep their memories with your forever.

The versatile tattoo can be done on any part of the body like the wrist, foot, shoulder, chest, arm, or forearm.

Black Anchor with Quote Tattoo

Image by @lorcheto42 via Instagram

Anchor Tattoo with Quote Chest Piece

Image by @onetattoozoe via Instagram

The Anchor and Eye Tattoo

Eye tattoo symbolizes clarity, vision, and protection. Most people believe that this anchor tattoo can be used to drive evil or negative energies away. The design also reminds the wearer to always be careful when choosing who to trust.

The Anchor and Eye Tattoo

Image by @graphitetattoostudio via Instagram

The Anchor with Crown Tattoo

This tattoo symbolizes power, royalty, victory, and strength. In this design, the tattoo artist incorporated a crown into an anchor. This design is associated with calmness, security, resilience, and stability.

Most people choose this design to honor their relationships and to show their partner how much they mean to them. The body art could also be a symbol of royalty among sailors.

Anchor Tattoo with Crown

Image by @jamesalexandertattoos via Instagram

The Anchor Tattoo on The Neck

The anchor neck tattoos have different meanings. Some say the neck anchor represents strength because the neck is a painful spot to get the anchor design tattooed. The tattoo featured here is done with black ink, but you can add colors to your design to make it more attractive.

The Anchor Tattoo on The Neck

Image by @tattoo_writers via Instagram

Anchor and North Star Tattoo

The north star is seen as a lifesaver in the rough seas especially when you lose your direction. The star glows brightly and leads you to your destination. Getting a tattoo of the star can be a sign that no matter how far wrong you've gone, you are ready to retrace your steps and make better decisions.

Anchor and North Star Tattoo

Image by @ghazal_tattoos via Instagram

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does an Anchor Symbolize?

An anchor symbolizes peace, strength, passion, and determination.

What Does an Anchor and Rope Tattoo Mean?

The rope and anchor is a symbol that has been used for centuries by the US and other Navies. It can be found on uniforms, crests and insignia, and documents. The anchor and rope tattoos are common amongst members of the Navy to represent masculinity and strength.

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