American flag tattoos are patriotic works of art that celebrate all things USA. The flag is a symbol of resilience, justice, and freedom. They are particularly popular among members of the military as well as among the police. However, any person who loves and respects our country and flag can get an American flag tattoo. They come in a variety of sizes from a small flag to an entire sleeve that covers all of the arm.
To give you a better idea of the different kinds of American flag tattoos that are out there, we rounded up some great tattoo ideas that showcase the American flag in a variety of ways. Take a look below to find the right type of American flag tattoo design that will be a perfect fit for you.
Realism in the Folds
By far, the most popular American flag tattoo design is a large flag that covers the upper arm like this. There are countless people with tattoos like this one. Some people choose a more lifelike look like this while others go in a more graphic direction.
What Lies Beneath
Another very popular style of American flag tattoo is this type that finds the flag exposed as if it has been found underneath the skin. You can go big with it like this design or go with a smaller patch.
With an Eagle
As you might expect, eagles are popular accompaniments for American flag tattoos. This one is a rather dramatic example but a handsome one nonetheless. Another thing to point out here is the use of black and grey instead of red, white, and blue. Over the past few years, it has become trendy to go all black.
American Flag Rose
Here is one of our favorite American flag tattoos on the list. The flag has been manipulated into a rose shape to great effect. Imagine other objects and subject matter that this sort of treatment could also work for as unique tattoo ideas.
Fly That Flag
Here’s an interesting American flag tattoo that finds our eagle pal flying with the flag in its talons. It has a sort of narrative quality that makes it more visually appealing than just a flag on its own. We would like to see something similar with full-color ink.
We The People
A popular phrase to go along with American flag tattoos is “we the people.” Of course, this is a reference to the US constitution. You will see it on or next tons of American flag tattoos today.
Weathering the Storm
We find a storm brewing with this American flag tattoo. It’s done primarily in black and grey but a pop of blue really brings the whole thing to life. It’s an interesting concept that we only saw once.
On the left, you can see a rather sad American flag tattoo. On the right, we find a larger flag tattoo covering the old one. We think one is much better than the other.
As a Memorial
American flags are popular with memorial tattoos, especially for those who served. We find a folded flag, some tags, and dates that all are meaningful to the person with this tattoo.
As Part of Something Larger
We find an American flag draped over the horns of a bull in this tattoo. It’s a haunting image that really turned out great. Imagine other possibilities for something similar yet singular that tells your story.
Here’s a fun departure from some of the American flag tattoos. We find an astronaut holding the flag. It’s a hopeful and adventurous image that’s a whole lot of fun.
Here’s an American flag tattoo that asks viewers to question form. We find the flag tattooed in such a way that it looks like brushstrokes and paint were used as the medium. It offers a cool effect that’s full of drama.
Here’s another example of an American flag tattoo that has gone in a different direction. This is like a watercolor tattoo which often has shapes that look like splatters of paint. The eagle in the background is the icing on the patriotic cake.
America In Your Heart
If you love your country, you could do no better than an American flag framed by a heart. It makes for a great small tattoo that does not require a ton of commitment.
A Beacon of Hope
Combining other symbols with the American flag is a popular option and we will continue talking about it as the list goes on. In this one, we find a lighthouse draped in an American flag. It really does hammer home the notion of the USA being a welcoming beacon of hope.
Paired with Landscapes
Here’s a cool idea for an American flag tattoo that we saw done in a few different ways. The flag has been worked into the a landscape to reflect a love of country and its natural beauty.
We are big fans of American, traditional tattooing. So many of these designs have been around in one form or another for decades. This is a classic that finds the flag carried by an eagle. If you are intrigued by it, look for artist who are versed in traditional and neo-traditional tattooing to help realize your vision.
In a Cool Shape
We have seen the flag as a rose and as a heart but this was a nice departure. We find the flag in the background, “filling” the continental US. Again, we find the “we the people” slogan inside for good measure.
With Other Symbols
Symbols of faith paired with the flag might feel problematic for some but it is a very common pairing for American flag tattoos. We all have the right to freedom of religion and this tattoo is a celebration of that.
Compasses Are Great
Compass tattoos are really popular as they symbolize direction, hope, adventure, and progress. The symbol is paired with a black and grey American flag here for an interesting tattoo.
As a Shield
This is almost a traditional tattoo and is a play on a very old theme. Shield tattoos used to be much more popular, especially among soldiers and sailors. We find a nice black one here with some little flowers for good measure.
Here is another traditional-style tattoo. In fact, it is based on an old Sailor Jerry design. This person clearly had some United States Navy pride they wanted to share and we think they totally nailed it. What a dream of a tattoo!
A Big Deal
Now, the most popular American flag tattoo style is to have the flag dropped over the upper arm and fall until it hits the forearm. This person went all-in and decided a full-sleeve tattoo was the right option. If you’re a “go big or go home” type of person, you know what to do!
Here is the weirdest American flag tattoo that we encountered. It’s so disjointed that it feels abstract. Thankfully, the colors red, white, and blue help viewers make sense of what they are seeing. Now, we know this style of tattoo is not going to be for everyone but we shared it with you to let you know that the sky really is the limit.
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Realer Than Real
Finally, we just wanted to leave you with a rock-solid American flag tattoo. This one has been expertly applied and parts of it verge on photorealism. You can’t go wrong by showing your love for your country. Show it any way that you feel suits you best.
Wow! Didn’t these American flag tattoos make you feel proud to be an American? We sure hope you feel inspired and will consider some of these American flag tattoo ideas for your next bit of ink. If you like these tattoos, keep reading! We’ve rounded up some lucky horseshoe tattoos for you to also take a look at!
Florals Make Every Tattoo Better
We kick this list off with a design that is full of vibrant colors. This one has a rose in the center and is flanked by some pretty purple flowers on either side. This horseshoe tattoo has been completed in a neo-traditional style that uses motifs of classic tattooing while also appealing to folks today.
Keep It Weird, Folks
Next up, a very strange, almost creepy horseshoe tattoo features a mysterious eye on the shoe. Some lovely botanical elements and little mushroom caps help bring this design even more to life. If you want to go all black with your design, it also has its virtues.
The Best of Both Worlds
Part Americana and part good luck tattoo, we find a pair of gorgeous cowgirl boots decorated with a thrilling snake and botanical design. The horseshoe tattoo here is pointed up which is ideal!
Micro Horseshoe Tattoo
We have seen some pretty large pieces so far but that’s not the only way to go! Micro tattoos are a huge trend today and they feature the teeniest designs. And, sometimes, the smallest tattoos make the biggest impact. Black and red ink are always a perfect pair. If you want to go smaller, something similar could be best for you.
A Floral Memorial Design
Horseshoe tattoos can also be excellent memorial tattoos for loved ones who had an interest in horses or even throwing horseshoes for fun. This one says, “I love dad,” and is made from colorful flowers. What a fabulous tattoo that will bring warmth and fond memories.
A Classic Take But With Wheat
A hand holding a horseshoe as you find in the above example was very popular decades ago. If you would like to celebrate the history of tattooing, you should consider something similar. We love the inclusion of wheat here which clearly is meaningful to the person who requested it. You can do the same with all kinds of different things.
If the black ink is calling, you can really lean into it with a dark horseshoe tattoo. More black ink translates to bolder designs that offer plenty of drama. For something that’s very impactful, you might try something similar.
On the other hand, if a color (like red) is calling you, ask your artist to incorporate as much as possible into your design to make a real statement. Sure, you’ve seen some horseshoe tattoos with roses but none have consisted of a lot of a single color as this one does!
A Desert Scene
Celebrate the beautiful deserts of the west with a horseshoe tattoo that incorporates cacti and other imagery from them. We thought this one was a great example that shows how you can use a horseshoe to frame a little scene.
A Trio for Mama
Wow! This portrait of three horses feels so evocative and full of action. As you can see, this is another memorial tattoo, this one for a “Mama.” What a stunning tribute.
All About Luck
A shamrock, some dice, and a horseshoe make it clear that this horseshoe tattoo is concerned with one thing and one thing only. If you’re a gambler, something similar would be a worthy option for you.
Simplicity Is Bliss
Just bold, steady lines make up this very simple tattoo. It is really hard for artists to get lines like this. The star, to us, seems like a real nightmare. But, if you are after a simple yet playful design, you could try something close to this.
Kawaii Horseshoe Tattoo
We are big fans of kawaii in general and that’s absolutely the case for tattoos. This horseshoe tattoo has to be one of the cutest on the list thanks to that unicorn that is draped over the shoe. Have fun with your ideas and your tattoo artist can help realize them for you.
Where Eagles Dare
We’re talking about some seriously sharp lines in this horseshoe tattoo that features an eagle inside. It’s a fun addition to this genre of tattoo and we have another shoe to show you that also features another bird.
A beautifully golden sunset rests inside this horseshoe tattoo that contrasts all of that orange with plenty of cool blues and purples. We live for a balanced design and this one is just beyond harmonious. Bravo!
In this fine line tattoo, we’re treated to a horseshoe and some botanicals along with some curious decorative elements like a gem and a dotted circle. This is a tiny tattoo! It’s not easy to pack all of that detail in such a small amount of real estate. What a winner!
“Make your own luck” is a common adage but we have never seen it as a theme for a tattoo like this. We find two hands forging a horseshoe in this design. It’s one of the most unique horseshoe tattoos on this list.
With a Classic Swallow
As promised, here is another horseshoe tattoo with a bird. We find a classic swallow here accompanying the show. Swallows have long been considered good luck as tattoos. English sailors would get them hundreds of years ago to help protect them on their journies.
Slightly psychedelic, this horseshoe tattoo holds a melting eye. We have no idea what is going on here but we shared it with you to encourage you to lean into your weirder ideas. The more unique and singular the better for tattooing, we say.
How about some gems in that horseshoe tattoo? Along with botanicals, another way to beautify your tattoo is to add some gems inside the shoe to make it really sparkle. This is modest, but we think it would also be fun to go all out with the gems to make it almost look like a crown.
A Touch of Sparkle
We’re delivering more sparkle with this tattoo that contains little dots to give the illusion of light being reflected. You can make anything sparkle more if you put your mind to it. So, if you are after a cute horseshoe tattoo, consider doing the same.
Unlucky horseshoe tattoos are popular. Some come right out and say it as is evident in this example while others use the number 13 to make the point. We want good luck but if you want to tempt fate, go right ahead!
We think this charm bracelet with a horseshoe tattoo that looks like a little piece of jewelry is really playful and fun. If you are after something small, maybe a scheme like this could work out well for you.
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Well, these horseshoes are meant for the folks out there who are all about the American, cowgirl theme. They are not positioned in the right way for good luck but aren’t they something to behold? With gorgeous colors that really feel balanced, we are treated to both a cowgirl character and a handsome horse here. How fun!
We loved the way color was applied to this horseshoe tattoo that is very saturated with color but in the most interesting way. Skin peeks through in a number of places to help offer contrast next to the vividly colored inks. For a horseshoe tattoo that will turn heads, try something similar!
There you go! Whether you love horses or like the idea of a lucky tattoo, horseshoe tattoos are excellent options for a number of folks. if you liked these horseshoe tattoos and would like even more ideas for your lucky tattoo, keep reading for even more fresh ideas!
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
- 1 Realism in the Folds
- 2 What Lies Beneath
- 3 With an Eagle
- 4 American Flag Rose
- 5 Fly That Flag
- 6 We The People
- 7 Weathering the Storm
- 8 An Upgrade
- 9 As a Memorial
- 10 As Part of Something Larger
- 11 In Space
- 12 Brushstrokes
- 13 Splatter
- 14 America In Your Heart
- 15 A Beacon of Hope
- 16 Paired with Landscapes
- 17 Traditional
- 18 In a Cool Shape
- 19 With Other Symbols
- 20 Compasses Are Great
- 21 As a Shield
- 22 Timeless Style
- 23 A Big Deal
- 24 Almost Abstract
- 25 Realer Than Real
- 26 Florals Make Every Tattoo Better
- 27 Keep It Weird, Folks
- 28 The Best of Both Worlds
- 29 Micro Horseshoe Tattoo
- 30 A Floral Memorial Design
- 31 A Classic Take But With Wheat
- 32 Drama
- 33 Big Red
- 34 A Desert Scene
- 35 A Trio for Mama
- 36 All About Luck
- 37 Simplicity Is Bliss
- 38 Kawaii Horseshoe Tattoo
- 39 Where Eagles Dare
- 40 Sunset Scene
- 41 Super Fine
- 42 DIY
- 43 With a Classic Swallow
- 44 Melt
- 45 Jewel-Encrusted
- 46 A Touch of Sparkle
- 47 Oh, No!
- 48 Charmed
- 49 Yee-Haw!
- 50 Unique Color
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