Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.
When it comes to symbols that represent honor and loyalty, look no further than the knight. These tattoos are usually sported by men, mainly in European countries. However, this is not to say that women can't wear them, too!
They aren't only found in Europe, either. With such positive symbolism, you can find them all over the world. These pieces of body art can be designed in many ways and portrayed with several elements. This gives the wearer and tattoo artist plenty of options to consider.
They can also portray the knight with a variety of different weapons, symbols, and attire. Since they require a lot of detail, they are usually designed to be large and on the back, the arm, or the chest.
In this article, you can see pictures of many different designs as well as learn about their meanings. I hope you find inspiration and ideas for your body art!
The History of the Knight
The definition of a knight is an armored warrior in service of his Lord or King. Knights were usually of noble birth, but not always. If given the right situation, a boy not of noble blood could become a knight. Young boys would begin learning the craft of the sword at a very young age. They would also help around the castle doing chores.
When a boy was qualified, he would be appointed to a master knight, who would be responsible for teaching him all the skills he needed to become a full knight. In return, the boy would be responsible for cleaning armor, weapons, and doing anything else the master would need.
Characteristics of a Knight
A knight could reach the highest level of respect and honor (or the complete opposite). They were the perfect example of respect, loyalty, and bravery, taught to fear absolutely nothing and fight for their respected Lord or King with the highest level of dignity and honor.
They would lay their life on the line without question for the country they love. These unselfish acts define the characteristics of the loyal knight.
Design Ideas and Symbolism
There are many reasons why someone would choose this for a tattoo. If you're into symbolic tattoos, the rich, positive symbolism of the knight can't be denied.
It can represent pride for your homeland, or it may be worn to symbolize historical significance or even service in the armed forces.
These tattoos can be done in a variety of ways, such as:
- They may portray the knight on a horse or without the horse.
- The knight may be in full armor with a sword drawn, or he may be portrayed with his helmet off.
- They can also portray the knight with a sword and his shield, kneeling or standing.
- You could also do something with the concept of armor.
Make Your Tattoo Unique With Symbols and Colors
Every knight had their own set of symbols and colors that they wore on clothing, shields, weapons, flags, and on the horse. This way, it was easy to tell the difference between knights during war and tournaments. It can also be a way to make your tattoo unique to you.
Get creative and use any color that you wish. Though most of the tattoos in this article use red, you can choose your own color and symbol.
Here are some possible meanings behind knight tattoos:
- War Ready
There are many variations in this kind of design.
- Angel Knight: The "Angel Knight" is a great example of this. He is usually portrayed with angel wings and a sword, taking on a fantasy element.
- Dark Knight: You might also portray your knight as a dark character in black with skulls or other dark associations. Some portray the knight as if he is in a storm, possibly with dark clouds or lightning. That kind of design can symbolize death, misery, or evil.
- Lions, Roses, and Weapons: You might also include symbols like the lion and the rose. These are often portrayed in shields. You may see a few designs with a lion, and you could also include other weapons like an ax or a dagger.
How to Design a Meaningful Tattoo
Remember, there are many ways that you can make your tattoo a unique expression of you.
- Use colors and symbols that mean something significant.
- Choose the location of the knight (i.e. in front of a castle or going into battle).
- Think about things that are knight-related, such as flags, pieces of armor, shields, and weapons.
As with any tattoo, do your research. Make sure you fully understand what your tattoo means and represents. You don't want to get a tattoo and find out later that it has another meaning that's offensive or more well-known.
Don't rush to get inked! People who do it on an impulse usually have regrets about their tattoo later on. Even with laser removal and cover-up, not all tattoos can be fixed. Make sure you get it right the first time.
If you're not completely sure what tattoo you want, then wait. Give it more thought and make a decision when you are completely confident in your design. Go with your gut, and good luck!
© 2012 Richard Ricky Hale
Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on September 11, 2013:
Marius, thanks for taking the time to comment and view our article on knight tattoo designs. We appreciate your feedback and support, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks!!
Marius-Norwegian on September 09, 2013:
I love this article thank you so much!
Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on July 28, 2012:
SGE, glad you chose to come by. It really is SGE. It is art and I hope others are able to learn this from such articles. Not only that, they can hold high symbolic worth to the wearer, which is all so important.
Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on July 22, 2012:
My nephew just got a sleeve tattoo. I personal thought it was fabulous and he can cover it for work. The rest of the family was pretty upset. I thought it was a work of art.
Richard Ricky Hale (author) from West Virginia on July 22, 2012:
Thank you all for your comments and time. It is greatly appreciated. Many thanks:) I would say these take some time. There is so much detail in them Ruby. Alocsin, absolutely. The more detail, the higher the price. Hyp, LOL! Faith, seems like they are endless. Max, Frank, Jas, thanks
BeyondMax from Sydney, Australia on July 21, 2012:
Wow. Just wow. Jaw-dropping indeed.
Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 20, 2012:
Beautiful art work, must take forever to do?..
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 20, 2012:
Certainly one of the more intricate tattoos out there. I imagine they are pricey due to the detail. Voting this Up and Beautiful.
Jasmine on July 20, 2012:
My hubbie wants one! I'll show him these :)
Cristale Adams from Florida on July 20, 2012:
This hub is awesome and the pics are great! Good job!
Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 20, 2012:
wow these are so cool I can do this one.. :) Frank
Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 20, 2012:
Wow, those are awesome looking knights. I am amazed at the amount of different tattoos there are available, and I am in awe that there are more to come. I keep thinking, well, I guess that about covers it, and then you come up with more. The artwork is stunning. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper
Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on July 20, 2012:
My own personal knight in shining (inked) armor. I could handle that!