There is some debate as to whether or not rebel flag tattoos are appropriate to wear. To some, rebel flags are a symbol of racism and hatred. To others they are emblems of pride in Southern heritage and history and should be given as much respect as any other flag. To those who wear these pieces, they are often symbolic of regional pride or identity and an urge to resist centralized power.
In many cases, rebel flag tattoos are simple in design. This style often features a flat image of the Southern cross, which is made up of a blue “X” that is covered in white stars and sits atop a bright red background. Sometimes this flag is made to look as though it were waving in the breeze, mildly tattered at the edges or rippling from a flagpole. For a different take on this, older versions of the rebel flag could be used. For instance, the Bonnie Blue, which is a simple white star set against a medium blue background, could be wrapped around an arm, while the stars and bars flag, an American flag with three stripes and thirteen circling stars, could be draped across the shoulder blades. In addition, the rebel flag may be melded or set side by side with an American or state flag.
Despite the fact that the majority of rebel flag tattoos depict the flag in a simple way, others like to create more elaborate designs. Many of these designs incorporate other significant symbols. Some of the most common symbols include state-related emblems such as official state seals, flowers, animals or even mottos. In some cases, symbols may include images that are relevant to the wearer in particular, and may even be made into a collage design that shows who the wearer is. In this instance, the flag may be accompanied by star signs, emblems of a social or career affiliation, or religious artifacts.
In most cases, rebel flag tattoos are fairly unisex in appearance, but some like to wear pieces that take on a more masculine slant. For example, the flag may be surrounded by barbed wire or thick-linked chain. A grimacing skeleton may be shrouded in this flag, as may a running athlete. Ferocious or strong animals are other popular options for this particular style and may include an eagle gripping the flag in its talons, or a wolf or bear may be shown bursting through it.
More feminine alternatives often include items that are mingled with the flag. For instance, it may sit at the center of a ring of roses, made to look like butterfly wings or a heart, or braided into a delicate chain that can be placed around an arm or leg. Fairies and pin up models tend to be quite common in this particular style. For fairies, the wings are generally the portion that contains the rebel flag; however, she may be shown flying with the flag trailing behind her. The pin up model may be shown wearing the flag, waving it in a flirtatious manner or lounging on top of it.