Blackwork shield tattoo on the forearm

Shield Tattoo Ideas That Will Make You Feel Safer ⛨

Categories Tattoos for MenPosted on

A shield is the oldest known useful defense tool used to protect against various weapons during the fight. One of the earliest found shields dates back to Sumerian period III millennium BC, Mesopotamia. Soldiers were using them as an active defense tool until the 17th century until they started to use firearms. However, even today we can see police squads throughout the world use ballistic shields for riot control. A shield has many variations and types, which makes it perfect for a tattoo. There are lots of beautiful meanings of a shield tattoo that we are going to go over in this article.

Kite shield tattoo by sang mayi
Kite shield by Sang Mayi
Upside down shield tattoo
Upside down shield
Fleur de lis shield tattoo by tattooist kiwan
Fleur-de-lis shield by tattooist Kiwan
Neo traditional shield with flowers
Neo-traditional shield with flowers
Shield with a cross
Shield with a cross

A shield – defensive armor used throughout the ages

A person using a shield usually holds it in the left arm, and it covers his or her body from the attacks without the need to use the right hand to counterattack. Due to its versatility, we can see that almost every culture in the world has used a shield for defense in fights. Depending on the region, people were making shields from various materials and in different shapes. Whenever they would invent a new, more lethal weapon, the shield automatically became thicker, or people would start to use better materials for it.

Small trident and shield tattoo
Small trident and shield

Although shields have different shapes and usually cover a more significant part of the body, any object that allows you to protect yourself from the opponent’s weapon is a shield. Nevertheless, with the invention of the firearms, shield became useless in the open battlefield. However, we can still find them in some regions with the tribal communities as well as the police squads that use shields to control the riots.

Viking axes and shield vegisvir ouroboros and runes tattoo on the lower back
Viking axes, shield with Vegisvir, Ouroboros and runes tattoo on the lower back

What were shields made of?

There were shields made of a single piece of wood or pieces joined from several elements. But throughout history, wooden shields have been the most popular. Usually, a wooden shield had an external element made of other material which gave it a better resistance and allowed to maintain its integrity during the blows. The leather is one of the oldest materials that people used for many things to make. There is evidence of leather on the shields since the Sumerian era. A well-prepared leather provides an excellent resistance from the arrows and spears.

Aboriginal shield tattoo
Aboriginal shield tattoo

Several layers of different materials provide better performance, rather than using one thick layer of the same material. Another element is copper that Sumerians used on the outer edges of the shield for the reinforcement. The bronze was an excellent alternative to copper, because it was more resistant, less flexible, and provided better protection. To learn more about the history of a shield click here – myarmoury.com there’s some pretty exciting stuff there!

Shield tattoo by andi fitzpatrick
Shield by Andi Fitzpatrick

Other types of shields and their meanings

We now know that the shield is the oldest known defensive armor. But, in today’s modern world where we no longer use them, and they only remain as symbols. Every country, town or municipality has its coat of arms which one of the main elements is a shield. We can also find them as symbols of soccer clubs, family heraldic, organizations, and other things.

Shield tattoo with a date by déczi anita
Shield tattoo with a date by Déczi Anita

Another type is ceremonial shields. As the name suggests, these were not meant for war, but only for special occasions such as parades. Until today, we can still see soldiers with shields during important visits of politicians. It is also a common symbol in the Catholic church since it protects the chest, and according to Christianity, the heart is where the right and good things are. From here comes the most important symbol of a shield – spirituality. It is a protection against the evil and falsehood.

Blackwork shield with vegvisir symbol by ruslan gornefer
Blackwork shield with Vegvisir symbol by Ruslan Gornefer

Shield tattoos represent defense: it protects you from danger, risk, and unpleasant experiences. It helps you to avoid people that may harm you. In general – it is a symbol that reduces the impact of something negative. It provides shelter and security.

Black shield tattoo with swords
Black shield with swords

Shield tattoo meaning

As we already know, a shield was an essential piece of armor that people used against the deathly blows. As beautiful as it looks, it was not a toy, but a thing that promoted wars and cruelty. Knowing this, we can surely say that shield is a symbol full of power, strength, and courage. Throughout history, it was a symbol of protection and sacrifice.

Coat of arms tattoo on the chest
Coat of arms tattoo on the chest

However, the image of this defensive piece can also express the inner strength or justice of a person. It can also be an ultimate symbol of good forces, continually fighting against the evil, cruelty, and immorality. A shield tattoo can express one’s desire to help for the weak and poor people. A shield with a cross may embody the divine power and is perfect for a Christian. It represents strong faith and a need to spread the word of God, to help others, and to make a world a peaceful place.

Blackwork shield tattoo on the forearm
Blackwork shield on the forearm

Very often people choose to get quotes or words together with shield tattoos. So, it can be a tribute to your passed family member that gave a strong foundation to your beliefs. Also, you can add a word that means the whole world to you, e.g., freedom, courage, faith and so on. As one of its most important symbols, a shield could signify your ability to protect others. Maybe you have a big heart and try to help others every time you can. Shield and sword tattoos may be a representation that you have served in the armed forces.

Sword and shield scenery tattoo by brett el
Sword and shield scenery tattoo by Brett El

Shield tattoo ideas

So, as we can see, there are many profound and interesting meanings of shield tattoos. It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you the most. Remember, that your tattoo can have an entirely different meaning than those that we have talked about. Take a look at our collection of shield tattoos. Maybe you will find that one perfect idea!

Zulu shield tattoo by pam
Zulu shield tattoo by Pam
Viking shield with ax and sword
Viking shield with ax and sword
Shield with a lion and sword
Another one with a lion and sword
Shield with names
With names
Floral shield tattoo by jessica channer
Floral shield by Jessica Channer
Shield of faith stabbed with burning arrows by tattooist mahn
Shield of faith stabbed with burning arrows by tattooist Mahn
Shield and sword tattoo on the chest
Shield and sword tattoo on the chest
Family shield tattoo
Family shield tattoo
Sword and shield tattoo on the forearm
Sword and shield on the forearm
Engraving sword and shield tattoo by jimmy memento
Engraving sword and shield tattoo by Jimmy Memento
Shield and sword tattoo with a quote memories never die
Shield and sword tattoo with a quote ‘memories never die.’
Wolf shield and swords tattoo by tattooist intat
Wolf shield and swords tattoo by tattooist Intat
Traditional shield bracelet tattoo
Traditional shield bracelet tattoo
Dot work style sword and shield tattoo by valentin hirsh
Dot-work style sword and shield by Valentin Hirsh
Celtic shield knot tattoo by graham beech
Celtic shield knot tattoo by Graham Beech
Captain america shield tattoo
Captain America shield tattoo
Dead knight and shield tattoo by taylor the tattooer
Dead knight and shield by Taylor The Tattooer
Roman shield tattoo
Roman shield tattoo
Family crest shield tattoo by alex rodway
Family crest shield tattoo by Alex Rodway
Stick and poke shield tattoo by Иван Сабакин
Stick and poke shield tattoo by Иван Сабакин
Eagle shield tattoo
Eagle shield tattoo
Shield and sword by fabiano
Shield and sword by Fabiano
Traditional style shield tattoo by luke holland
Traditional style shield tattoo by Luke Holland
Shield and sword by caique perez
By Caique Perez
Scorpion sting shield tattoo
Scorpion sting shield tattoo
Viking shield tattoo by david hodges
Viking shield tattoo by David Hodges
Crossed swords, armor and shield tattoo on the chest
Crossed swords, armor and shield on the chest
Cross shield and swords tattoo
With a cross and swords
Swords, shield and helmet tattoo
Swords, shield and helmet tattoo
Traditional coat of arms tattoo on the left calf
Traditional coat of arms tattoo on the left calf
Shield Tattoo Ideas That Will Make You Feel Safer ⛨
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