This old lady we call America is about to turn 241 years young this July 4th, so we thought it would be fit to celebrate by breaking out the most patriotic tattoos we could find. We're talking eagles, the Statue of Liberty, John Deere, Nascar and the great film Independence Day. But there is one thing that is above all of these things, literally — the flag.
The flag of the United States of America, the ol' stars and stripes, if you will, has been through many different variations. If you know a little bit of your history you know that we did not start with the 50 states that we currently have, and each star on the flag coincides with a state, so naturally each time we added a state the flag become obsolete. Well, realistically we wait a while to change the flag after adding a state. Just because Utah joined up don't think that we're going to drop everything and make a new damn flag.
But we bet you are sitting there, enjoying these tattoos, and thinking where did the flag come from? Well, strap in for some nuggets of knowledge. Back in 1776 a bunch of old fellas got together to tell the crown (England) to shove it, thus declaring ourselves independent. And since all countries have flags we needed one in a hurry. So we took the British flag, threw it up in the corner, and added a bunch of red and white stripes, one stripe for each colony, and called it the Continental Colors.
This was a spectacularly stupid idea. If you are looking to become independent from a nation, and are about to fight a lengthy war against that nation, don't put that nation's frickin' flag in the corner of your own! It's hard to believe that the brilliant minds that came up with the Constitution and our whole governmental system didn't see the bald faced idiocy of this.
Luckily, Betsy Ross stepped in to right these wrongs and came up with a sweet looking flag with thirteen stars in a circle up in the corner instead of the monstrosity that is the Union Jack. Now, people debate whether or not it was actually her invention or not, but that's a whole different rabbit hole. This flag was first used in 1792 and still looks great to this day.
Since then there have been a lot of subtle changes to the flag — adding stars — but it's pretty much the same iconic flag that we've come to adore. When it comes to tattoos of the American flag artists take all sorts of liberties, which is rad, since liberties are what the flag stands for after all.
The flag was a staple of American Traditional tattooing back when it was primarily servicemen getting the ink, and it still is, as you can see in the tattoo above by Myke Chambers.
People get American flag tattoos to show their patriotism, to honor friends and family that have passed, or for a hundred other reasons that a person may be proud of the United States.
It doesn't matter what version of the flag you are getting tattooed, they all look great on skin. It's the spirit behind them that is most important, after all. If you are looking to get your very own American flag tattoo, make sure to check out each artists' Instagram page. Happy 4th of July!