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Explore the Meaning of a Barbed Wire Tattoo and Be Surprised

Barbed Wire Tattoo Meaning
Have you ever wondered what a barbed wire tattoo signifies? We'll tell you all you need to know about the barbed wire tattoo meaning...
Rohini Mohan
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2018
A barbed wire is basically a spiked fence which has iron or metal wires wound around each other, in addition to long metal thorns or pins sticking out. The barbed wire was first patented in 1867 by Lucien B. Smith, from the United States of America. This technology was introduced with the intention of keeping cattle away from the fields and the backyard garden. Soon however, it was used for restraining people as well, and helped keep robbers away. It was widely used in prisons and mental asylums so as to prevent the inmates from escaping easily. Usually, they would pass electricity trough these metal wires, which if touched by an escapee would cause severe injury, unconsciousness or instant death. It was also used in the German concentration camps and prevented prisoners from trying to escape.
We all have noticed barbed wires, but we have also seen people wearing them as tattoos. Which seems peculiar at first sight. Think about it, I mean, why would someone want to get a tattoo of a barbed wire etched on their skin? And that too permanently?
Meaning of Barbed Wire Tattoo Designs
The Crown of Thorns
Barbed Wire Tattoo Meaning
The barbed tattoo was inspired from the crown of thorns which Jesus was made to wear before being crucified. It symbolizes strength and faith in the power of the almighty. It represents the fact that the individual wearing the tattoo has seen much hardship in his life and has been able to withstand all hurdles and pain, because of his faith in the Lord. The fact that he too is one of the many children of God and he will be given peace after he passes through this life onto heaven, where he will
Years Spent as a Convict
Barbed Wire Tattoo Meaning
The barbed wire gained popularity among the Italians who used the tattoo to symbolize the fact that they were weathered criminals and had spent years spending their term in jail. Usually the number of spikes on the tattoo correlated to the number of years spent serving their jail sentence. While in Russia, this tattoo was etched on a convicts wrist or all across the forehead, to show that he had been put in for a lifelong term of imprisonment for an unforgivable crime, such as murder.
I'm Not an Open Book
Barbed Wire Tattoo Meaning
Many people prefer barbed wire tattoo designs because it represents a fence. These people like to believe that they are unapproachable and not easy to understand. They are not the most social people and prefer dwelling in their own solitude. Some are cold and cruel, and enjoy violence and seek sadistic pleasure in harming others. In reality, a barbed tattoo is looked upon as a criminal tattoo which establishes deviant behavior and lack of respect for societal rules and regulations.
Barbed Wire Tattoo Ideas
Meaning of Barbed Wire Tattoo Designs
The Heart Will Never Falter
While some like to depict the cross with the barbed wire wound around it, as it depicts the connection to holy father. It signifies that no matter what happens, the individual's faith in the almighty shall never be jeopardized and that he'll protect his faith from external sins. You can get this tattoo on curved body parts such as on the biceps, forearm, wrists, the neck, the thighs, calf muscle and the ankles.
Behind Enemy Lines
Barbed Wire Tattoo Meaning
There are barbed wire tattoos that are meant only for soldiers, who have or are still stationed near enemy lines and have to deal with constant barrages every now and again. Their relentless endeavor to protect their nation's pride can be depicted by portraying the national flag sliding smoothly along with the barbed wire. It's a patriotic tattoo which represents the soldier's honor at having served the nation, and having served it well.
Fallen Angel Heart
This tattoo depicts an angel trying its best to escape the prison of a heart which has been tied down by barbed wires. It may signify the yearning of a sinner to redeem himself, through good deeds and prayer, by escaping the wrong he has committed in his past. It could also mean that someone who was once good has taken the wrong path. Such as drug addiction and leading a depraved life, and thus regretting his acts and not being able to abandon the new lifestyle. The angel is often shown burning in a blaze of fire, as it is sucked into or seen escaping the sealed heart of Christ. A similar depiction is that of a pair of angel wings that have been embroiled in barbed wires and there seems to be no escape or freedom. It's the spirit of the soul which is yearning to seek freedom from some form of turmoil, strife and despair.
Free At Last
Another great idea is to show a heart or a dove with wings spreading out while the string of thorns breaking away all around it. This tattoo signifies that the person has finally achieved peace and freedom from a troubled past and is all set to fly like a free bird. The breaking of the barbed wire represents the end of difficulties and danger.
Peace Beats War
There are many tattoo designs which depict the barbed wire along with a red rose, which seems absolutely unaffected by the metal thorns and is blissfully blooming. A similar idea is depicted by a butterfly or a centipede, that seems oblivious to the dangers and impediments lurking on its way. A blatant peace sign admits barbed wires, would represent the struggle peace has to undergo in order to defeat war and terror.
Whatever may be the significance of these tattoos, it may mean different things to different individuals. There is no way to draw a fine demarcating line in order to define this tattoo.
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