Generally, sword tattoos are considered masculine symbols as they allude to the phallus, but this is just the most superficial interpretation. There are more to the sword than just a representation of manhood.
The images of swords are emblems of bravery, often seen on military insignias and flags. They are symbolic of the warrior, military honor, truth, justice and virtue – things which are worth fighting for. Swords also have a significant place in Christian imagery. When fire is added to a sword tattoo design, it can represent faith and purification, an association with defending the Christian faith during the middle ages. Two swords diagonally crossed is an emblem of St. Paul.
As a sharp-edged weapon, swords can also signify transition and new beginnings. We cannot change or move on if we do not ‘cut off’ ties with our past or anything that is holding us back.