Anchor tattoos represent a connection to the sea and water, be it through service in the Navy, or through a general love of water, boating and fishing. Anchor tattoos mean different things to different people, and some even have Christian symbolism.
Anchors have been a fixture in the tattoo world for many generations. While the anchor was originally a covert way for early Christians to symbolize the cross on which Jesus Christ died, it later represented faithful service aboard a ship. Traditionally, a man did not "earn" an anchor tattoo until his first successful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Nowadays, enlisted servicemen in the Navy sometimes get an anchor tattoo even before they step foot on their first ship.
An anchor tattoo sometimes also reveals a devotion to a certain person or ideal. Anchors symbolize stability and grounding. Some people in a committed relationship get matching anchor tattoos that reveal that they are one another's stability and surety. Formerly, tattoos were reserved for the rough-and-tumble crowd involved in trades and areas of hard living. This is no longer the case as people of all classes, colors, genders and ideals are getting tattooed all over the Western world. Along with this rise in popularity, classic tattoos, such as the anchor, are coming back into style stronger than ever.