One of the most enduring tattoo symbols, the anchor is a favorite among seafarers; from sailors and military personnel to boating enthusiasts and even pirates. Dropped into the ocean depths to secure and stabilize a ship, the nautical instrument represents hope, control and safety amidst trouble waters.
Because its top bar resembles a cross, the anchor also holds loose ties to Christianity and can be worn to mean being ‘anchored’ by one’s unwavering faith in a world as unpredictable as the turbulent sea.
A deeper meaning can be added to a simple anchor tattoo by combining it with other motifs such as flowers, birds and dolphins. One of the most popular designs is to add a banner with a name or date around an anchor. This highly personalized design is often chosen as a memorial tattoo, commemorating an individual who has a deep love for the sea, or a special someone who has brought stability and hope into one’s life during a time of uncertainty.