One of the reasons why tattoos will never go out of style is because of how welcoming it is. Tattoos are for everyone, even for those that need a platform to express their moral beliefs.
A great tattoo amongst those that believe in the power and importance of loyalty comprises a tattoo of the term “Death Before Dishonour.”
While it initially rose to prominence due to being a slogan for people in the military, this variant, commonly known as a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo is a design that I’d recommend to those that are seeking a way to express the love they have for their religious beliefs, family, and their nationality.
Although most designs aren’t drastically different from one another, there are loads of ways in which one can wear a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo, especially due to the power its symbolism holds. Additionally, if you are intrigued, make sure to stick around until the end to learn everything about the “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo.
- Incomparable Death Before Dishonour Tattoos For Vigorous Patriots
- “Death Before Dishonour” Chest Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Sleeve Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Back Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Forearm Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Coffin Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Hand Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” Neck Tattoo
- Death Before Dishonour Bicep Tattoo
- “Death Before Dishonour” In Kanji
- Influence Of “Death Before Dishonour” Tattoos On Popular Culture
Meaning of Death Before Dishonour Tattoos: A Deep Rewind
The “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo rose to fame in the past due to the affiliations it has with the Marine Corps to this day. It represents the loyalty each troop member has for their country.
In addition to highlighting the admiration one has for their nation, the symbolism of “Death Before Dishonour” is affiliated with honour, and courage.
A portion of my clients obtained a tattoo of this quote to honour the symbolism of this saying, while another portion obtained the same tattoo to pay homage to their ancestors who happened to be members of the Navy or Military.
A “Death Before Dishonour” is also used as a source of self-expression. Many people use the term “Death Before Dishonour” to be more transparent about their religious and moral beliefs, which often tends to benefit them with spiritual growth.
Additionally, the term “Death Before Dishonour” is also used by enthusiasts to be more grateful for what they have in life. Many believe that it is the perfect design to express the love they have for their family, friends, and the little things in life.
Incomparable Death Before Dishonour Tattoos For Vigorous Patriots
A “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo has a lenient meaning and can be introduced in an existing tattoo or a new design in various ways. Although the groundwork of most options comprises the term itself, multiple components can be introduced into the image if you want your creation to stand out.
Over the past decade, I’ve worked on a handful of designs to highlight and create a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo. Although I did find a majority of them too loud or too cliched, some of the images that I had the pleasure of working on have a soft corner in my heart.
Regardless, without further ado, here are my favourite designs that you should definitely check out if you’re about to get a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo!
“Death Before Dishonour” Chest Tattoo
The most common “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo out there is often obtained as a chest tattoo.
In addition to creating the expression, most clients prefer symbols of wings to add more meaning to the tattoo. For those that are unaware, a wing tattoo is typically affiliated with freedom, which is positively related to the meaning of the term “Death Before Dishonour.”
Furthermore, since there always seems to be a gap in the middle, a lot of the wearers ask for symbols that have ties with their religious beliefs. A symbol that is a common find amongst this variant is the Christian Cross symbol.
When creating this tattoo, I often use my magnum shader to create the faded effect in the background. To work around the components, I use a round liner.
This tattoo is typically created as a black and grey tattoo, but can also be showcased using an array of vibrant colours.
“Death Before Dishonour” Sleeve Tattoo
Wearing a quote tattoo of “Death Before Dishonour” might seem insufficient at times, but that issue can easily be tackled, especially if you get a sleeve tattoo.
The sleeve is like a canvas. You can honestly add any component that is directly related to the expression. Since it’s related to honour and courage, consider adding symbols of animals that convey the same message, like a lion.
Since this tattoo is packed with multiple elements, the time frame might be an issue to some. To avoid that, make sure to clear up your schedule so that the procedure is as lenient as possible for you and your tattoo artist.
“Death Before Dishonour” Back Tattoo
Another promising variant that is a common find is the “Death Before Dishonour” back tattoo.
Just like the first entry, many people take this option into consideration due to the amount of space it has. While the surface is rather difficult to comply with for artists, the procedure is extremely pain-friendly. Since our back stores tons of fat, it has the ability to withstand the use of a needle.
The most common placement for this option is the upper back area. Since the middle and lower back are relatively bony, I often advise my clients to dismiss them as placement options since both areas often lack a cushioned region.
“Death Before Dishonour” Forearm Tattoo
The forearm can also be a good area to utilise when wearing a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo.
Since it has a good amount of space and contains an even surface, implementing normal as well as complex designs is hardly ever challenging. Due to the muscle tissues it contains, it can also be a good option to consider for beginners, as it is relatively painless.
As the area is lengthy but is also equally narrow, refrain from adding portraits to the tattoo. Instead, add micro tattoos around the phrase to make it a little more visually and metaphorically powerful.
“Death Before Dishonour” Coffin Tattoo
The term “Death Before Dishonour” is often praised for the influential emblem it has. However, you can always convert the phrase into something that is literal, especially into a tattoo. You can do that by adding the symbol of a coffin.
Additionally, if you want something that is a little more like a traditional tattoo and everything unlike a black and grey tattoo, you can very well change the hues. As for the palette, you can add colours that cater to your preferences.
However, if you’re indecisive, going with classic solids like red, green and yellow are the hues that I would recommend. Add a flower tattoo on top of the coffin to drape the artwork with more colour.
“Death Before Dishonour” Hand Tattoo
A “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo on the hand is easily one of the most physically painful options one can consider, but is a must-have for those that are seeking a way to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
The design mainly stands out because of the font. The first and last words are often created using a script-like font that is sizable and contains tons of width. The letters are often colourless, but that feature is always open to change.
The word “Before” is usually the highlight of the show. It is created with a round liner, is compact in size, and contains a neutral colour to increase visibility.
Furthermore, although this design is more or less a classic tattoo, you can also change that element and introduce shades that are solid and high-spirited.
“Death Before Dishonour” Neck Tattoo
If you want a loud variation but don’t want something that’s too excessive even for a tattoo, keep the visuals of it simple, but readjust the placement.
The “Death Before Dishonour” neck tattoo is the perfect variation to resort to if the design you have in mind is plain. While the design will remain subtle, it will be easily accessible and catch the eyes of many due to how exposed the neck area is at all times.
The design that I usually create for this option comprises the phrase in block letters. The rich neutral colour scheme is easily the star of this artwork, as the contrast of it is often noticeable, even from afar.
A drawback of this variation is the pain-level it involves. Since the side of the neck is typically utilised for this quote tattoo, even the finest needle, often a round liner, can cause a painful vibration. To get rid of the pain, however, I usually apply a numbing cream to the area.
Death Before Dishonour Bicep Tattoo
Due to how resilient the area is against pain and how well it’s able to pull off colours, a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo can surely be placed and pulled off as a bicep tattoo.
While the centre of the bicep can be an intriguing spot to try out, I often suggest my clients to resort to the inner bicep. This is because, on top of being hefty in size, creating the artwork is easy for a tattoo artist, and feels as painful as a pinch would to the wearer.
Even though it is relatively spacious, getting just the quote should be the only artwork to consider. As the surface is somewhat flabby, creating a portrait or anything that involves intricate materials could be a risky move to make.
On the contrary, if the emptiness of the proposed artwork does bother you, add tiny symbols of butterflies to fill in the void.
“Death Before Dishonour” In Kanji
In addition to being a popular military tattoo, the slogan “Death Before Dishonour” is a renowned term in Japan, and a common find in Japanese tattoo enthusiasts.
Prior to being an iconic tattoo design, the phrase “Death Before Dishonour” was a code that samurais used to abide by. In addition to being specialists with swords, samurais were known for being extremely disciplined. They lived by the Bushido code, which symbolises honour, courage, skills, and loyalty.
“Death Before Dishonour” was a term that was taken literally as well as figuratively by samurais. They believed that dying in battle and resorting to seppuku – a form of ritual suicide amongst samurais – was better than going against their moral beliefs and their principles in order to achieve survival.
Influence Of “Death Before Dishonour” Tattoos On Popular Culture
While the phrase rose to popularity due to the role it played in the hearts of samurais as well as the impact it had on service members all over the world, the slogan also expanded its fan base when late-artist XXXTENTACION incorporated the term into a face tattoo.
The Resident’s main protagonist, Dr. Conrad Hawkins, also has the words “Death Before Dishonour” imprinted on his back.
While an explanation was never provided for the musician’s tattoo, it is believed that artist XXXTENTACION wore a face tattoo of the quote for his friends and family.
On the other hand, since Dr. Conrad did serve in the Navy on the show, his tattoo pays homage to the initial symbolism of the “Death Before Dishonour Tattoo”
In my eyes, a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo is a promising design to wear until eternity. Since the symbol is affiliated with a series of powerful interpretations, it can always be perceived as an open book.
Due to the diversity of its symbolism, a “Death Before Dishonour” tattoo can be paired up with any kind of symbol, and displayed in the form of any tattoo, which is why I would like to take this opportunity to suggest it to newbies as well as veterans that are looking for promising tattoo variants.
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