If you are from Poland and want a suitable body art design to express your patriotism then there are several popular ideas for Polish tattoos. Many of these are in red and white to tie in with the colors of the national flag and Poland’s White Eagle is often used with this as a background.
The Military White Eagle is one of the most commonly requested images used for Polish tattoos. This is actually one of the oldest State Coats of Arms in the world today, having featured on Poland’s coat of arms for over 700 years, a staggering achievement that very few other countries can make claim to. In body art depictions the Eagle is depicted in white with a crown against a red background, however prior to the end of the 13th Century, the eagle had no crown. This became part of the emblem when the Duke of Great Poland unified the Kingdom and made his claim to the throne. Despite its changing artistic form over the centuries, its fundamental message remained the same as a strong symbol of sovereignty and the state. It has appeared on royal seals and documents, army banners and coins as well as on state buildings, royal tombstones and churches, as well as being part of all state and court ceremonial customs. In Poland today, one of the highest accolades a citizen can receive is the Order of the White Eagle which was established by the King to decorate loyal subjects back in 1705.
The story of the White Eagle is has inspired many Polish tattoos and this goes all the way back to the birth of Poland over a thousand years ago. Legend has it that three brothers left the contentment of their villages and went in search of new homes for their growing families. Each brother went in a different direction and traveled for many days over mountains, rivers and forest terrain but found no people of villages anywhere. As one of the brothers continued down a mountain and across deserted plains, he came across a magnificent sight. Amid the barren landscape there was a meadow and a lake, as he stopped at the edge his attention was caught by something overhead so he looked up into the skies and saw a great eagle flying above. As it soared high towards the heavens, the a ray of red light from the setting sun landed on its spread wings making the tips appear a dazzling gold while the rest of the eagle was bathed in a translucent white light. The brother took this as a sign that this was where he was meant to set up home so he gathered his family and they called their new land, Gniezo, the Eagle’s Nest. The settlers named themselves The Polonia, which translates as people of the field, and thus the land of Poland began.