Chain tattoos, symbolizing oppression and freedom

Chain tattoo

Chain tattoos are not very common. It may be because many people symbolize it with crime and are associated (in the vast majority of cases in a wrong way) with a person who has been incarcerated.

Obviously this is not the case, but its meaning and symbolism is associated with a person who is 'trapped' and lacks freedom, although, as we will see, they can also symbolize the opposite, being one of the many freedom tattoos. Today we collect several tattoos of this type while also delving into the meaning of chain tattoos. Keep reading to know more!

Symbolism of chain tattoos

A chain that breaks symbolizes freedom

Obviously and as one would expect, depending on the way in which the chains are tattooed, one thing or another is symbolized. If for example, we came across a tattoo of broken chains, the person who wears it is symbolizing that they have freed themselves from a burden or something that was "binding" them and that they finally feel free to continue with their own path and destiny.

Chain tattoo, symbolizes a difficult time


On the other hand, people who have chains tattooed in the place where they would place shackles on us, are representing a time in their lives in which they do have a difficult burden that binds them and with which they must deal on a daily basis. It can also be a way to remember a complicated stage in life so as not to make the same mistakes in the future.

Chains constrain, but they also bind

As well can be used to show that we are fighting problems in a difficult time.

Chain Tattoo Ideas

Chain tattoo on wrist

Although the symbolism of this type of tattoos is very focused on what we have pointed out in the previous section, The truth is that these phenomenal tattoos can take many different forms, and sometimes acquire new meanings, as we will see below.

Anchor chain tattoos

Chain tattoo with anchor, symbolizes astar tied to a site


One of the classics of traditional tattoos, the anchors, combined with the topic we are dealing with today, the chains. As you can imagine, this tattoo symbolizes that you feel anchored to a place, either with a positive meaning (for example, you feel rooted in your land) or negative (if you feel that you are trapped and that you cannot move forward, both in a symbolic and literal way). It works wonders with traditional styling and playing with bright, strong colors like black and red.

Lizard made of chain

Lizard with chain tattoo, a symbol of rebirth


Without a doubt a very imaginative version of chain tattoos, if we opt for a version with a lizard As the main character, we are actually relating two meanings that combine very well together: the feature length symbolizes rebirth after a time of ties and immobility, represented by the chain. Give it a Celtic touch like the one in the photo so that it has a style between the natural and the ancestral.

Chained rings

Chained rings tattoo, a metaphor of engagement


The chains They can also symbolize the commitment we have with our partner. Although we can interpret them to the letter, there are couples who choose to represent the chains with other types of ligatures that actually have the same meaning, such as intertwined ropes.

Named links, another way to symbolize commitment


Furthermore, you can also choose to use the two links of a chain as if they were two rings, another way to symbolize your commitment or to remember your wedding day. A simple design, without color or with a small detail, works very well in these cases.

Anti-Nowhere League Tattoo

Anwl tattoo, its symbol includes chains


If you are a fan of this London punk band, authors of the great “So what”, you will undoubtedly love a tattoo based on them, in which, of course, the chains are the protagonists. And is that you can't be more punk that having as a symbol a hand with a brass knuckles clinging to a chain with a spiked ball at the end.

Punk tattoo, chains are part of the imagery


Clearly these tattoos ask for a design that is as striking as possibleSo opt for a black and white design with strong shadows or touches of red.

Different chain tattoos

Different chain tattoo with lots of chained little men


Although chain tattoos also leave room for imagination, especially if we choose to put the tattoo in places such as the arm, the ankle, the leg ... We can choose a border that refers to a chain and turn it around, for example, making each link a person. This design is especially cool and, due to its simplicity and originality, it is quite timeless.

Bike chains

Bike chain tattoo, a metaphor about moving forward


Furthermore, the machines also carry a series of chains that can be a very cool inspiration for a tattoo. Perhaps the most famous is the bike chain, an element without which when pedaling we would not advance anything. As you can see, its meaning refers to the fact of moving forward (and above in a sustainable way). It is a design that is very cool in black and white.

Chains in henna, a delicate option

Henna tattoo, the chain is made with circles and is more delicate

Although the delicacy of henna does not seem to be the best way to draw a chain-inspired tattoo, if we opt for a simple design, in which the links are linked dots or circles will not only give a delicate impression, but it will be very cool.

Houdini, the magician in chains

Houdini tattoo to symbolize your escapist agility


Another inspiration for a very original chain tattoo is Houdini, the magician who specializes in getting out of places where he was chained. It is a tattoo that, in addition to working very well in a traditional style, symbolizes your ability to navigate complicated situations, or to always get free.

Necklaces and rosaries

Rosary tattoo, a chain, like necklaces, more delicate

If you don't feel like wearing chains like the beast, with links that could knock out an adult elephant, you can be inspired by chains much simpler and more elegant and very present in our day to day: necklaces and rosaries. Make them of braided links so that the chain essence is not lost.

Celtic chains

Celtic tattoo on the arm, the chain is a symbol of rebirth


Finally, let's see the Celtic chains, which are nothing more than chains and borders that follow that style. They are ideal to wear on the arm or legs and look great with a hypnotic design that can also be inspired by braided ropes. These tattoos are inspired by the Celtic knot, which symbolizes the union between two people and rebirth. Give them a touch of green to make them very, very Celtic.

Celtic chain, its hypnotic design is inspired by the Celtic knot


We hope that after reading this article, you avoid the "bad reputation" that these tattoos have and have found an idea that you have found interesting. Tell us, do you have any chain-inspired tattoos? What does it mean to you? Do you think we have missed picking up any worthwhile ones? Remember that you can tell us everything you want, to do it, you just have to leave us a comment!

Photos of Chain Tattoos

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