Many people immediately assume that a person with a cross tattoo is very religious. This isn’t always the case, however. A cross tattoo holds many different meanings, which depends on the kind of cross used in the design. Most popular is the Biblical version, where Jesus Christ was crucified. It is regarded as a symbol of sacrifice. People looking to get a religious tattoo often go with this cross design. Some designs even include Jesus Christ himself.
Another cross tattoo that has Biblical ties is the inverted cross, which is similar to the above-mentioned cross – except it is upside-down. An inverted cross is associated with Saint Peter, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. Saint Peter was also crucified – but he requested it to be upside-down as he felt he wasn’t worthy enough to die in a similar fashion to Jesus Christ.
Not many people are aware of the origin of the inverted cross, though. The uninitiated might immediately associate it with Satan since many black metal bands who openly identify as atheists or Satan fanatics use the inverted cross image on album covers and other official merchandise. If you live in a particularly conservative place, you might want to stay away from an inverted cross tattoo.
The Celtic cross is also another popular cross design seen among men. It is a symbol of both Celtic heritage and Christianity. Compared to the Biblical cross, a Celtic cross has a more intricate design. It is composed of loops and knots, with a large circle in the middle. The loops represent the cycle of life while the knots represent the connection between the physical and the spiritual. A Celtic cross is one of the most easily recognizable cross designs, whether it comes in black-and-grey or in green-and-gold.
A Maltese cross, which looks similar to the infamous Umbrella Corporation logo in the Resident Evil video games, represents courage and sacrifice. This makes it an excellent tattoo for firefighters, policemen, and soldiers – people who regularly put their lives on the line in order to serve the public. The Maltese cross is associated with knights, which makes it a good representative of justice, loyalty, and honor.
If you want a Maltese cross, we suggest refraining from having it colored in red. As mentioned, it looks similar to the Umbrella Corporation logo, which is associated with zombies and terrible human experiments. It is best to simply leave it in black-and-grey to avoid confusion.
Egyptians also have a representative in cross tattoos. It comes in the form of the Ankh, which looks like a regular cross except for the handle or loop at the top. It is often seen carried by Egyptian gods in paintings and sculptures. The Ankh combines both the Mars symbol associated with men and the Venus symbol associated with women and symbolizes life.
As mentioned, a cross tattoo is open to a lot of customization. You can basically mix and match it with other designs and come up with a very symbolic design. For example, you can pair it with a black-colored rose tattoo to pay tribute to a lost loved one. You can pair it with a heart as a symbol of union or marriage. You can pair it with angel wings as a symbol of protection. You can even have it in tribal style if you want to include it in a sprawling tattoo design that covers a large portion of the body.
As for the color, we suggest sticking with traditional black-and-grey – unless you’re going for a Celtic cross tattoo, which looks awesome in black, green, and gold. There is something about a colorful cross tattoo that looks a bit off and almost too cartoony. Similar to a wolf tattoo, a cross tattoo is one of those designs best suited in black and gray colors. But if you think you can pull off a colored one, feel free to have a very colorful cross tattoo.
Again, the best thing about a cross tattoo is that it looks good on any location. If you have a buffed up body, a cross tattoo will look excellent in the middle of the chest. It looks great on the back as well, preferably as part of a large tattoo piece. The calves and biceps are also great locations due to the amount of available canvas. But if you want a more subtle tattoo, we recommend having a small cross tattoo on the wrists, ankles, or nape. Obviously, there are some areas best kept away from a cross tattoo. C’mon, guys, you know where it is. No need to spell it out.
Need help choosing a cross tattoo design? We got you covered. Here are some of the best cross tattoos around.