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105+ German Tattoo Ideas That Will Have You Full of Pride

by Sherri Owens

From the German eagle to football designs, there are so many German tattoos for you to choose from.

Even though I live in the US, I've had a lot of clients who have got German-inspired tattoos from me over the years.  I love listening to the stories about their ancestors and also learning lots of interesting facts about Germany along the way.

In this post, I will be introducing you to the top German tattoo ideas and giving you some insight into what each tattoo design can mean for you. Let's begin!

The Best German Tattoo Designs

Here are the top German tattoos that you should consider:

Imperial Eagle Tattoos

Well, there is no better place to start with ideas for a German tattoo than with the German eagle tattoo or the Imperial eagle tattoo. This is arguably one of the most important German symbols as the Federal eagle is found on the German flag.

The History of the German Eagle Tattoo

However, this isn't the only reason that the German eagle and the German eagle tattoo is important to German culture.

The reality is that the German eagle has a long and rich history. Although it is now known as the German eagle or the Federal eagle, the bird was originally associated with the Holy Roman Empire.

Map of Holy Roman Empire and Double Headed Eagle

Image by @liechtensteiner_reich via Instagram

This is because the Roman Empire conquered certain parts of Ancient Germany. During this time, the two regions set up a trade. The German eagle was given to Germanic nobleman. It signaled that they were under the protection of the Empire.

Of course, the Holy Roman Empire was eventually driven out of Germany but the German eagle remained a prominent and powerful symbol of German heritage.

German Imperial Eagle

Image by @intrepidexplorer82 via Instagram

Part of this probably had to do with the fact that the eagle is associated with intelligence, bravery, and power. As a result, the German eagle was an appropriate symbol for the country.

Minimalistic German Eagle Tattoos

There are actually a few different German eagle tattoo ideas you can choose from.

Do you want to keep your German eagle tattoo simple? If so, you could get a minimalistic German eagle tattoo.

This means only having a general outline as a German eagle tattoo. Also, you can color your entire German eagle tattoo in black. If this is the kind of tattoo design that you are interested in, then here are some German eagle tattoos to consider:

Black Minimalistic German Eagle Forearm Tattoo

Image by @eastvanweartattooco via Instagram

Black Minimalistic German Eagle Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @robbraotattoo via Instagram

Karlsruhe and German Eagle Forearm Tattoo

Image by @tattoobywoodman via Instagram

Minimalistic German Eagle Calf Tattoo

Image by @churboy_stirrett via Instagram

Detailed German Eagle Tattoos

If you want to go all out with your German eagle tattoo, though, you can do this as well. When you get a more detailed German eagle tattoo, make sure to look to the flag for inspiration. This will show you precisely which elements to include.

With more complex German eagle tattoos, you can choose to use only black or grey in your German eagle tattoo. This is a great option if you are going for a more gothic vibe for your German eagle tattoo.

Colored Crown and Detailed German Eagle Back Tattoo

Image by @chrismasontattoo via Instagram

Black German Eagle with Crown Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @brian.garber via Instagram

Of course, if you would like to brighten up the look of your German eagle tattoo, you can strategically add some color here and there - some yellow and red will work best on your German eagle tattoo.

You can also have the German eagle or the black eagle grasping the golden banner.

Detailed German Eagle with Script Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @bradicaltattoo via Instagram

Black and Red German Eagle Arm Tattoo

Image by @sloanxkettering via Instagram

Violet Flowers and Black German Eagle Leg Tattoo

Image by @chantyink via Instagram

Black and Red German Eagle with Lettering Chest Tattoo

Image by @ancient_visual_arts_tattoo via Instagram

Grey and Red German Eagle Chest Tattoo

Image by @moeink88 via Instagram

Coat of Arms German Eagle Tattoos

There are several people who use the German eagle as a coat of arms. If this is the kind of aesthetic that you want to go for with your German eagle tattoo, there are a few ideas to choose from.

You can have the German eagle grasping a shield with the colors of the flag in its feet. These are some German eagle tattoos to take inspiration from:

German Eagle with German Coat of Arms Arm Tattoo

Image by @rebelrouser313 via Instagram

German Eagle with Crown and Coat of Arms Arm Tattoo

Image by @kvberg via Instagram

Or, you can have the shield on the chest of the German eagle. Check out these German eagle tattoos to see if you prefer this German tattoo idea

German Eagle with German Flag Forearm Tattoo

Image by @miniperf via Instagram

German Eagle with German Flag Chest Tattoo

Image by @timplumleyart via Instagram

German Eagle with German Shield Forearm Tattoo

Image by @lark_ink via Instagram

German Eagle with German Flag Ribs Tattoo

Image by @cthomsentattoos via Instagram

German Eagle with Script Arm Tattoo

Image by @tonyd_tattoo via Instagram

German Eagle with German Flag Arm Tattoo

Image by @lynnlouisehana via Instagram

German Eagle with Coat of Arms Back Tattoo

Image by @tattooedplanet_az via Instagram

German Eagle with German Coat of Arms Tattoo

Image by @zackbrysontattoo via Instagram

German Eagle with German Coat of Arms Chest Tattoo

Image by @pressurefingaz_ via Instagram

German Eagle with German Flag Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbyallanrivera via Instagram

German Eagle with German Coat of Arms Arm Tattoo

Image by @jimstanley412 via Instagram

German Eagle with German Coat of Arms Forearm Tattoo

Image by @teddigarsontattoos via Instagram

Creative German Eagle Tattoos

Maybe you like the idea of German eagle tattoos, but you don't want to do the same thing that everyone else has done with their German tattoo.

If you're looking for more creative German eagle tattoos, you're in luck as there are many German tattoo designs to choose from.

For instance, you could make your German eagle tattoo like it is engraved in stone. Or, you can even put a more modern spin on the traditional German eagle tattoos.

In any case, here are the German eagle tattoos that you should go through for inspiration for your German tattoo:

German Eagle Forearm Stamp Tattoo

Image by @ponylawson via Instagram

Black German Eagle with Sword Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @crowdertattoos via Instagram

Black Skeleton German Eagle Forearm Tattoo

Image by @darcyisradtattooist via Instagram

A Note About the German Eagle Tattoo

Before you go ahead with your German eagle tattoo, I should remind you to be careful of the design you choose.

While the German eagle - and the German eagle tattoo - has an ancient and proud history, it also has a dark one. This is because it was included in a coat of arms for Nazi Germany.

German Eagle as Nazi Symbol

Image by @joexgould via Instagram

Of course, the German eagle or the Federal eagle that you find on the flag is different to the one used by the Nazis, but there are similarities. If you want to make sure that your German eagle tattoo doesn't offend anybody, make sure that you steer clear of any hate symbols.

German Flag Tattoos

Well, what better way to show off pride for your German culture than getting a German flag tattoo?

For one thing, the national flag holds a lot of significance. This is why it is one of the ultimate German symbols and makes a great German tattoo.

The reality is that the German flag has gone through many changes over the years. The red, black, and gold that you see today was likely borrowed from the Holy Roman Empire.

Flag of Germany

Image by @ns_flags via Instagram

During the Weimar Republic, the German flag symbolized centrist, Republican, and Democratic parties. However, throughout the years, these colors have also been used to symbolize democracy and freedom.

In any case, there are many ways you can make this German tattoo work for you.

Minimalistic German Tattoo Designs

Want to keep your flag simple? If so, you can just get the three colors in the correct order for your German tattoo.

If you would like to add a bit more interest to your German tattoo design, you can have the flag waving in the wind.

Here are the German tattoo designs you can consider:

Colorful German Eagle and German Flag Forearm Tattoo

Image by @theinfamouskatie via Instagram

Colorful German Flag with Year Leg Tattoo

Image by @evolvink via Instagram

Colorful Floral German Flag Forearm Tattoo

Image by @sacred_circle_art_studios via Instagram

Colorful Alps and German Flag Arm Tattoo

Image by @keithison via Instagram

Colorful Minimalistic German Flag Wrist Tattoo

Image by @chavis_tattoos via Instagram

Creative German Tattoo Designs

While a simple German flag tattoo may be a symbol of patriotism, it can also be a tad bit boring.

In this case, there are a few different creative German tattoo designs to consider.

For instance, your German tattoo design could include an eagle. Or, your German tattoo could look like the flag is just underneath ripped skin.

There are so many options to choose for your German tattoo design.

Torn Skin German Flag Arm and Ribs Tattoo

Image by @ztotheq via Instagram

German Flag Elbow Band Tattoo

Image by @bambdj via Instagram

Torn Skin German Flag with Lettering Forearm Tattoo

Image by @bigjuniorstattoos via Instagram

German Flag Star Leg Patch Tattoo

Image by @tattooville_linden via Instagram

Torn Skin German Flag Leg Tattoo

Image by @drewbeavers via Instagram

Torn Skin German Flag with Name Forearm Tattoo

Image by @tattsbycurt via Instagram

Torn Skin German Flag with Eagle Leg Tattoo

Image by @infamousink902 via Instagram

Claw Marks German Flag Forearm Tattoo

Image by @inquestattoo via Instagram

German Flag Colors Tattoos

There is no need to get a flag design for your German tattoo design. As long as you include the three colors of the national flag, you can prove your allegiance to your country and German culture.

So, your German tattoo can consist of various elements and simply include the red, black, and yellow.

For instance, your German tattoo design could include shapes like hearts or stars. Or, you could use the colors for a German tattoo that consists of butterflies or even a skull.

German Eagle in German Flag Colors Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @sillytarantula via Instagram

Maple Leaf and Hedgehog in German Flag Colors Thigh Tattoo

Image by @asia.tattoo via Instagram

DNA Tree with German Flag Canopy Thigh Tattoo

Image by @aarontat2grubb via Instagram

Compass with German Flag Colors Thigh Tattoo

Image by @justin.hauck.art via Instagram

German Flag Butterfly Tattoo

Image by @tattoosbybee83 via Instagram

Goat and Bunny with German Flag Colors Forearm Tattoo

Image by @veggiesaurus via Instagram

German Flag and Czech Flag 3D Butterflies Foot Tattoo

Image by @tudorbtattoo via Instagram

Berlin Bear and German Flag Colors Tattoo

Image by @redstattooparlour via Instagram

Hot Air Balloon and German Flag Colors Tattoo

Image by @leo_salcedo_tattoo via Instagram

Skull and Roses in German Flag Colors Arm Tattoo

Image by @nikkisimpsontattoos via Instagram

If you're half German, you may want to consider combining both your nationalities in a tattoo. Just check out the German colors being used in a four leaf clover. It's such a creative and fun idea!

Dragonfly and Maple Leaf in German Flag Colors Leg Tattoo

Image by @manhattaninkuk via Instagram

Clover in German Flag Colors Leg Tattoo

Image by @sith_medema_tattoos via Instagram

Iron Cross Tattoos

I want to start off by saying that the Iron Cross tattoo design is a controversial German tattoo.

The Iron Cross was once associated with courage and bravery. It was a medal given to soldiers who had gone above and beyond in the battlefield.

Black Shaded Iron Cross Elbow Tattoo

Image by @tattoohallam via Instagram

Skull with Helmet and Iron Cross Arm Tattoo

Image by @nickbaxtertattoos via Instagram

Skull Inside an Iron Cross Arm Tattoo

Image by @meat_at_animalhousetat2 via Instagram

Black and White Iron Cross Arm Tattoo

Image by @steffen_north via Instagram

When Germany was under Nazi rule, a Swastika was superimposed over the Iron Cross and given to those who had served the Nazi party well.

Once Germany was no longer under Nazi control, the Swastika was removed and the Iron Cross regained its original meaning.

Today, this symbol is used all across the world, including in company logos. So, as long as you don't include a hate symbol in your Iron Cross tattoo, you should be fine!

Here are the German tattoo design ideas you can choose from:

Iron Cross Medal Forearm Tattoo

Image by @oliver_klemm_feinkunst via Instagram

Black Iron Cross Biceps Tattoo

Image by @pittadesigns via Instagram

Olive Branches and Iron Cross Hand Tattoo

Image by @ray_hitchens via Instagram

Red Iron Cross Knee Tattoo

Image by @rambodiablo666 via Instagram

Spider Web and Iron Cross Knee Tattoo

Image by @locster_tattoo via Instagram

Black and White Iron Cross Armpit Tattoo

Image by @kaibel via Instagram

Minimalistic Iron Cross Wrist Matching Tattoos

Image by @smileytattooshop via Instagram

Black Iron Cross Head Tattoo

Image by @jokertatts via Instagram

Stone Iron Cross Forearm Tattoo

Image by @anybodybutchad via Instagram

Iron Cross with Skull Leg Tattoo

Image by @woolley_tattoos via Instagram

Black Iron Cross with Script Hand Tattoo

Image by @mr.wilsontattoo via Instagram

Iron Cross with Red Rose Leg Tattoo

Image by @freaky_colours via Instagram

Iron Cross with Revolvers and Lettering Chest Tattoo

Image by @jekyll_and_hyde_tattoo_by_ingo via Instagram

Iron Cross with Skull Arm Tattoo

Image by @o.m.t.c.vic_anarchist_tattooer via Instagram

Black and Grey Iron Cross Neck Tattoo

Image by @marcolaritattoo via Instagram

Black and Grey Iron Cross with Skull Tattoo

Image by @dapiratemike via Instagram

Brandenburg Gate Tattoos

I will say that Brandenburg gate tattoos are far and few in between. However, if you wish to get a meaningful German tattoo design, you should consider this idea as an option.

For one thing, the wall has seen some of the most historic events in the world - from the invasion of Napoleon to the bringing down of the Berlin Wall.

Brandenburg Gate Back Tattoo

Image by @joker.micros via Instagram

The Brandenburg gate has a unique association to the Wall. When the Berlin Wall was first erected, West and East Germans were barred from approaching it as it was in a restricted area.

Once the wall came down, however, it became a symbol of unity and hope for the future. So, if you're looking for a beautiful German tattoo, this is a good choice.

Black and Grey Brandenburg Gate Leg Tattoo

Image by @borsch.tattoo via Instagram

Cornflower Tattoos

You may not have considered a cornflower for a German tattoo, but you should. Did you know that the cornflower is the national flower of Germany?

The cornflower works well as a German tattoo design because it symbolizes strength, courage, and resilience. It is often associated with soldiers.

Blue Cornflower Leg Tattoo

Image by @czarnykot.tattoo via Instagram

Blue Cornflowers Forearm Tattoo

Image by @sashaunisex via Instagram

Cornflowers Forearm Band Tattoo

Image by @olka_tattoo via Instagram

Cornflowers with Leaves Arm Tattoo

Image by @nataszkatattoo via Instagram

This also makes it a great German tattoo design because the flowers supposedly helped people find love. Unmarried men and women would wear the flowers behind their ears on in their buttonholes to signal that they were single and ready to find a partner.

Here are the German tattoo design ideas that you can try out:

Minimalistic Cornflower Ear Tattoo

Image by @harlstattoos via Instagram

Colored Cornflowers Biceps Tattoo

Image by @shishkina_art via Instagram

Colored Cornflowers Arm Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @iza.b.ttt via Instagram

Minimalistic Cornflower Arm Tattoo

Image by @donghwa_tattoo via Instagram

Colored Cornflower Forearm Tattoo

Image by @kumigems via Instagram

Oak Tree Tattoos

The oak tree is the national tree of Germany. This is a vast and solid tree that represents the strength and longevity of Germany and her people.

The oak tree makes for a great German tattoo design as ancient Germanic councils used to hold their meetings beneath this mighty tree.

Such a German tattoo design is also a great symbol for wanting to feel more connected to your roots. This German tattoo may help you to feel like you truly are a part of the country's history and past.

Grey Shaded Oak Tree Shoulder Tattoo

Image by @albamartintattoo via Instagram

Minimalistic Oak Tree Elbow Pit Tattoo

Image by @sameastwick via Instagram

Black and Grey Oak Tree Back Tattoo

Image by @douglaslamb.tattoos via Instagram

Colorful Oak Tree with Roots Arm Tattoo

Image by @meganmaryrosetattoo via Instagram

Colored Oak Tree with Names Back Tattoo

Image by @krayolakaos via Instagram

Shaded Oak Tree Forearm Tattoo

Image by @codyrothetattoos via Instagram

Black and Grey Oak Tree with Roots Arm Tattoo

Image by @alchemytattoocollective via Instagram

Black and Grey Oak Tree Tattoo

Image by @havefaithtattoo via Instagram

Circle and Oak Tree Forearm Tattoo

Image by @monikamoni.art via Instagram

Dirndl and Lederhosen Tattoos

It goes without saying that the national clothes and costumes of Germany are iconic. Even non-Germans are familiar with them.

If you want a German tattoo that links you to the past or the more classic elements of your culture, these are certainly German tattoos you may want to get.

You can get a German tattoo of either dirndl or lederhosen or get both in the same German tattoo design.

Black and Grey Dirndl and Lederhosen Forearm Tattoos

Image by @encrenoustattoo via Instagram

Mountain and Woman Wearing Dirndl Thigh Tattoo

Image by @heartoverheadtattoo via Instagram

Colorful Rabbit Wearing Dirndl Forearm Tattoo

Image by @corni.tat via Instagram

Flower and Traditional Dirndl Tattoo

Image by @eberlingverena via Instagram

Man Wearing Lederhosen Leg Tattoo

Image by @bonaschi_nobleart via Instagram

Skeleton in Lederhosen Arm Tattoo

Image by @nati_tattoolove via Instagram

Oktoberfest Tattoos

Oktoberfest is a festival that may have its roots in Germany but it is now celebrated around the world. It is an important part of German culture.

With this German tattoo, you have the option of getting an image of people enjoying Oktoberfest or you can just have mugs or bottles of beer as a symbol of it.

Hot and Sexy Woman with a Beer Glass Tattoo

Image by @sararayink via Instagram

Black and Grey Man with Beer Mug Chest Tattoo

Image by @gothika_tattoo_pisa via Instagram

Black and Grey Beer Mug Inner Biceps Tattoo

Image by @silvercloud.tattoo via Instagram

Colorful Waitress with Beer Mugs Calf Tattoo

Image by @kalutattoo_studio via Instagram

Hands with Beer Mugs and Script Forearm Tattoo

Image by @skinjackin via Instagram

Colorful Waitress with Beer Mugs Tattoo

Image by @mrmartintattoo via Instagram

Football Tattoos

Football is arguably one of the most popular pastimes in the country. Not only does everyone root for the national team, but every German has their own favourite club.

In any case, this is the perfect German tattoo if you want a link to Germany as well as one of your favorite sports.

You can choose to get the logo of your team, the colors, or even get a full jersey if there is a player that you really like. There are a lot of ways that you can show off your love for German football.

Here are some German tattoo design ideas that you can borrow from:

German Flag Colors in Football Ball Leg Tattoo

Image by @execute_0rder66_ via Instagram

Borussia Dortmund Logo and Football Ball Arm Tattoo

Image by @football_tats via Instagram

Borussia Dortmund Logo with Script Forearm Tattoo

Image by @tattoo_nation_studio via Instagram

Borussia Dortmund Logo and Vintage Football Ball Arm Sleeve Tattoo

Image by @football_tats via Instagram

Are Tattoos Popular in Germany?

Yes, tattoos are quite popular in Germany. It is estimated that one in five people have a tattoo - what is even more interesting is that more women than men have tattoos in Germany.

Of course, not everyone gets a German tattoos. Although many want to showcase their pride in their country, others may get more personalized tattoo designs.

It doesn't matter if you want to look to the past or the present, there are a lot of German tattoo design ideas to choose from. Even if you haven't grown up in Germany, you can still find different designs and elements to include in your tattoo so that it feels more personal to you. Good luck in finding the right tattoo design!

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