Posts Tagged ‘skinhead tattoos’

Gang tattoos V

Written by Rocky Geneva on . Posted in blog


  Skinheads are members of a subculture that originated among working class youths in the United Kingdom in the 60’s, and then spread to other parts of the world. The term skinhead comes from  their close-cropped or shaven heads.

The first skinheads were influenced by West Indian (specifically Jamaican) rude boys and British mods, in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle. Thus the original skinhead subculture was based on those elements, not politics and race.

In time, however, things have changed and attitude towards race and politics have become factors by which more and more skinhead gangs form themselves.

Though there are two kinds of skinheads, racist and non-racist, most people are unaware that most skinheads you will ever see are actually a part of the non-racist fraction. The image of the Non-Racist Skinheads was pretty much irreparably busted when the National Front in England started to enlist the more rowdy of the skinheads and the ones that were latently racist.

Skinheads are visually identified by their short hair and unique clothing styles. Fashion-wise, skinheads range from a clean-cut 1960s mod-influenced style to less-strict punk- and hardcore-influenced styles.

Tattoos on the other hand have been popular in the skinhead subculture since at least the 1970s revival. In 1980s Britain, dedicated skinheads had tattoos on their faces and foreheads, today this practice is not so popular and is mostly observed only with the incarcerated members of this culture.

The tattoos sported depend on the skinhead. The apolitical and non-racist skinheads tend to have tattoos that involve certain symbols common to the scene, like a laurel wreath that comes from the Fred Perry logo,national flags, anti-racist logos and drawings, Doc Marten-style boots, skinhead girls, brass knuckles, the logo for the Trojan record label, or the popular crucified skinhead. The crucified skinhead is symbolizing the damage done by the media pushing the idea of skins as racist thugs. But also, skins will get whatever appeals to them as individuals. Band logos, their children’s names, sacred hearts, hotrods, pin-ups and so on.

  A significant part of racist skinhead subculture is their dress and appearance. Racist skinheads typically shave their heads, much less common practice with the skinhead girls. Often wearing skinhead-related garb such as suspenders and work boots, symbolizing their working class inheritance.

They also tattoo themselves heavily with white supremacy and Nazi symbols. Some of the more popular skinhead tattoo designs are:

  • SS lightning bolts,
  • The Odin rune,
  • The Odin cross: this symbol has been used mostly by the KKK and Skinheads,
  • The Sun rune also known as Sol: often worn by Skinheads as an elbow web tattoo,
  • Crucified skinhead: symbolize the crucifixion of the working class,
  • The White Power Fist and the “Skin” Fist: symbolizes skinhead aggression,
  • Triskele: used to state white supremacy, association with the swastika and Nazi Germany,
  • 14/88: 14 stands for the “14 words” slogan(“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) and 88 means “Heil Hitler,” as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
  • Swastika: a very popular design with the Neo-Nazi.
  • Group or movement, logos and titles.




Gang tattoos II

Written by Rocky Geneva on . Posted in blog

Aryan Brotherhood

The Aryan Brotherhood is believed to have been formed by a group of Irish bikers in 1964 at San Quentin State Prison, but it may have been derived from or inspired by the Bluebird Gang. They decided to strike against the blacks who were forming their own militant group called the Black Guerrilla Family. Some have knit caps pulled low over their eyes; many sport peculiar, walrus-like mustaches more befitting American Civil War soldiers and Wild West outlaws. Nicknamed “The Rock” or “The Brand”, sometimes “Alice” or “Alice Baker”, carnage spreads in the Aryan Brotherhood’s wake. Dozens of murders, professional hits, drug dealing and prostitution rings (both male and female) – all controlled from inside maximum security, lock-down prisons using intricate codes, wives and girlfriends, and “blood in, blood out” loyalty.

Like most prison gangs, Aryan Brotherhood members mark themselves with distinctive tattoos.  Designs commonly include the words “Aryan Brotherhood”, “AB”, SS, 666, sig runes, shamrocks, and other Nazi symbolism and Celtic iconography. “The Brand” as it is also known does not allow others to wear their symbols. Sporting one without permission leads to death punishment. But not before, alive or dead, they slice it off you with a razor.

Large tattoos or several multiple tattoos may symbolize a gang members’ level of devotion to their gang.

Here are some of the most common designs:

Aryan Brotherhood / AB / The Brand

Tattoo used by member of the Aryan Brotherhood for identification. The Aryan Brotherhood is the Alpha and Omega of prison gangs.



The 8th letter of the alphabet being H. So 88 would be HH, for Heil Hitler.



  Blackend in Nazi SS Bolts

In recent years, this tattoo has come to mean that you have killed a minority. It is a Nazi symbol signifying the Schutzstaffel (SS), whose members ranged from the Gestapo to soldiers of the Waffen SS.


  Warrior Rune

Shows one’s commitment to the overthrow of the United States government through an armed struggle.


  Odin Rune

Shows one’s faith in the pagan religion know as Odinism. Odin is the Norse high God, AKA All Father. While very popular with racists, mostly skinheads, Odinism is not a racist religion. 


  Elbow Web

The traditional symbol used by all racists to indicate time served in jail. This symbol has been in the past mistaken to mean that one has killed a black person.



Aryan Brotherhood groups from different states often accompany the symbols mentioned above with the name of the state.


Gang tattoos I

Written by Rocky Geneva on . Posted in blog


The first post in this topic will be about the Mara Salvatrucha, also known as the Ms-13.

The MS refers to the Mara Salvatrucha, which is one of the large gangs that are found in Central America and the United States as a whole. MS 13 first arrived in the USA in California in the 1980’s. The gang can also be found in other countries outside America like Canada, Guatemala, Colombia, Great Britain, Mexico and Germany.

The members have tattoos on their bodies and faces, they use symbols to show the area where the gang member specializes in. Some of the symbols that are used include crossbones, dice, grenades and daggers. They go from getting tattoos large enough to cover the whole back or very tiny such that it can fit on the hand and fingers. The size can be an indicator of the period of time passed since an individual has been in the gang, older members have larger tattoos then other young ones.

The number 13 or 18 that is used by the members can either be in roman numbers, Arabic numbers or a mixture of both. The MS tattoos are often disguised with other tattoos so that the police cannot easily relate them to the gang.

One of the tattoos that you will find on a gang member is MSX3 the number 10 is used to replace the 1 in 13. The M stands for Mara, the S stands for Salvatrucha while the 13 is used as a sign of respect for the Mexican Mafia group. The MS tattoos have 3 dots that appear in a triangular shape to represent the 3 places that a gang member goes to once you are recruited. The 3 places are a hospital, prison and the grave. When you have a MS symbol that appears above your shoulder, this means that you have the ultimate honor. This type of tattoo is only found in gang members that are high ranking. Depending on which set you belong to the tattoo will have initials of the area that you come from.

There is also an area code for El Salvador that is included in the tattoos. The number 503 represents this code. Their colors are blue and white also taken from the flag of El Salvador.

I couldn’t find many clear and quality pictures of this gang, it’s probably because they don’t pose much, either then mugshots. So feel free to share some photos or information if you have some.

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