Anchor Tattoos are among the most incredible tattoos out there. Enjoy our guide to the best anchor tattoos, designs, and artists EVER. Top ranked.
Many people associate the anchor with sailors and servicemen. In the modern society, the anchor became a proud calling of all the sailors and servicemen around the 1500s. The trend was started and adopted by the British Navy that overwhelmed the Spanish naval fleet in one of their battles. Later on, anchor tattoos were used to identify several generations of sailors within one family. That is why it shouldn’t surprise you if you ever come across a grandfather, a father, and a son wearing the same tattoo.
However, the truth is that Medieval British were not the ones who started the trend of anchor tats. Such tattoos have actually been around ever since 2500 BC or since the time of Sumerians. And, believe it or not, at that time anchors had little to do with the sea.
An anchor is one of the oldest symbols in tattoos and the first tattoos that featured anchors were made when Christianity started spreading. At that time, Christians were persecuted for their beliefs and they needed a way to recognize each other and also find a way to show their religion somehow.
That is why they started wearing anchor tattoos.
“Why anchor?” you may wonder. Anchors actually masked the symbol of the cross and they represented Jesus’ connection with the sea. The story goes that Jesus performed numerous miracles that involved marine elements for several of his disciples who were fishermen as well.
Now that we are done with history lessons, scroll down and check out the greatest anchor tattoos we came across! Hopefully, one of these anchor tattoos will be an inspiration for you future tattoo.
30. Heel Anchor Tattoos
29. Simple Anchor Tattoos
28. Finger Anchor Tattoos
27. Anchor On Wrist
26. Colorful Anchor Tattoos Ideas
25. Religious Anchor Tattoos
As we already mentioned, one of the symbolic meanings of the cross is tied to Christianity. Many centuries ago, anchors actually reflected the Holy Cross. Anchor tattoos were worn by Christians who wanted to escape the barbarity and the cruel punishments of Romans. Ever since then, anchors and anchor tattoos became a subtle way to showcase religion.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain…” – Hebrews 6:19
24. Bow & Anchor
23. Realistic Anchor Tattoos
22. Side Anchor Tattoos
21. Anchor & Helm
20. Incredible Anchor on Back
19. Never Sink
Symbolically, anchor tattoos may represent your determination to stay put in all sorts of different situations, since the anchor never sinks, despite all the tough ocean tides. In other words, such tattoo may remind you of stability and resilience, and show everyone that you are as tough or even as stable as an anchor. These tattoos will definitely remind both the wearer and the observers of the tattoo of the wearer’s ability to conquer even the most adverse situations with inner strength and determination.
18. Amazing Thigh Anchor Tattoos
17. Colorful Wrist Tattoo
16. Anchor on Chest
15. Wrapped Around
14. Elegant Anchor Tattoos for Ladies
13. Matching Anchor Tattoos
Anchors have many symbolic meanings. One of the amazing ideas for your next tattoo may be a simple anchor design you will share with your loved ones. Sometimes, people get anchor tattoos to show their gratitude to that person in their life who plays the vital role of the anchor. That is the person who always stands by your side and keeps you steady when the seas get rough. If you and your significant other, or maybe even you and your sibling are each other’s anchors then getting matching anchor tattoos is a great way to show your love and respect towards each other. When it comes to couples, anchors may also represent the fact that you two are anchored to each other and willing to spend a lifetime together.
However, you alone may also get an anchor tattoo that serves like a piece of dedication and ovation to the person that acts as an anchor in your life.
12. Simple Chest Tattoo
11. Feather & Anchor
10. Anchor, Skulls, and Flowers
Anchors are very subtle and can be combined with many different symbols. They look amazing when combined with roses. Anchor tattoos combined with roses usually stand for love, honor, and sacrifice. Generally, tattoos like this are worn by women more often since the roses make the tattoo be more on the feminine side.
For some more beautiful roses and skull designs, click here.
9. “Live Free”
8. Neck Anchor Tattoos
Just because your anchor tattoo is subtle and small doesn’t make you less of a brave and determined person. The size of the tattoo will not diminish the symbolic meaning of your tattoo. Just remember, compared to the size of those huge ships, anchors are indeed relatively small.
Whatever the size your anchor tattoos are, they will still represent your ability and courage to combat the hardest challenges and the biggest struggles life throws at you.
7. Quote Anchor Tat
But, just because roses are usually tied to women, it doesn’t mean a guy can’t rock rose and anchor tattoos. Guys can have roses and still make their anchors look manly. Add a deep, but not girly, quote such as “Maybe the past is an anchor holding us back,” and you will have your tattoo catching the attention of all guys and girls.
6. Anchor Chest Piece for Women
Even though anchor itself represents loyalty and stability (mostly), adding various designs to and around your anchor tattoos will definitely modify the meaning the way you want it to. Check this tattoo out for example – the key and the locked heart, roses, eye at the top of the anchor… These are all different symbols that send one complex, beautiful message.
5. Elegant Anchor Tattoo
4. Thumb Anchor
3. Captivating Anchor Tattoos
2. Birds & Ancor
1. Heart, Cross, Anchor
In rough seas, an anchor is a sailor’s last refuge and hope that things will get better. Besides the meanings we have already mentioned, an anchor tattoo can also stand for loyalty, honor, hope, protection, salvation, dedication to the greater good, and even enlightenment. The most important thing is when getting any tattoo, to make sure that it means something to you.