To put it simply a torch is no more than a stick with combustible material at one end which is then set on fire and used as a light source.
Torches like this have been used for centuries but can often be more ornate than a simple stick and can become quite the work of art with decorated and sculpted features. Classical looking torches such as those were common in Ancient Rome and likewise Ancient Greece, and it is torch designs like these that inspired some of the best torch tattoos!!
Torch tattoos, like their physical counterparts, have a number of different meanings and interpreted symbolism. A torch has long been seen as a symbol of both enlightenment and hope, as such the Statue of Liberty lifts her torch as a sign of "Liberty Enlightening the World". It is also said that a torch facing upwards represents life, while one facing downwards represents death!! One of the most recognized torches today is that which is carried across countless countries to light the Olympic flame!
Perhaps more fitting for a tattoo subject is the romantic associations of a torch; the old phraseto carry a torch (for someone) means to love them or to look at them romantically, then again the phrase is often interpreted as carrying a torch for someone who does not have the same feelings as you...so for all you people carrying a torch may these 18 torch tattoos light your way!!