marfil98

Death before dishonor tattoo

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Hey everyone, so I've been wanting to get a "Death Before Dishonor" dagger tattoo on my forearm for a while now. But I'd like to know a bit more about the history of it first. I've noticed it has military connotations but is it specifically a military tattoo? As I am not now nor have I ever been in the military it wouldn't feel right having a military tattoo. I can't find that much about it online so if anyone can help me out I'd appreciate it.

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In my mind, this tattoo does have a more specific military meaning - although it can obviously be tied to the greater concept of virtue and the commitment to protect it at all costs. A quick search of the web will yield many references to it as having a military tie. As a retired Army officer, I would automatically assume that anyone I saw with this tattoo had some military experience. That said, people are free to have whatever they want as a tattoo. Personally, this falls into the real of "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should."  And, of course, this is just my own very personal opinion.  Actually, if/when I opt to have a lower arm tattoo done, some version of this would be my choice.

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I was never in the Navy,but I got my anchor tattoo like many people have  and I'll guess most have not been in the Navy either.

just like my Marquesas ,and my polynesian,and native american feathers tattoos,is all just art. 

I don't think it's disrespectful at all,screw the politically correct crap !  

like I said before,nobody owns a style or form of art.

IMO no big deal.

sorry for the rant,and I didn't mean to derail your thread.

Edited by Dan

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2 hours ago, Devious6 said:

In my mind, this tattoo does have a more specific military meaning - although it can obviously be tied to the greater concept of virtue and the commitment to protect it at all costs. A quick search of the web will yield many references to it as having a military tie. As a retired Army officer, I would automatically assume that anyone I saw with this tattoo had some military experience. That said, people are free to have whatever they want as a tattoo. Personally, this falls into the real of "just because you can do something, doesn't mean you should."  And, of course, this is just my own very personal opinion.  Actually, if/when I opt to have a lower arm tattoo done, some version of this would be my choice.

Yeah, after doing a bit more research I've decided against it. What I wanted to know was basically: If you saw someone with this tattoo would you assume they were in the military? And now knowing that answer is yes, I can't in good conscience get it. I still want some form of dagger tattoo on my forearm but I'll go with something with no ties to the military, like a dagger through a rose, or through a panther head, or through a skull etc.

1 hour ago, Dan said:

I was never in the Navy,but I got my anchor tattoo like many people have  and I'll guess most have not been in the Navy either.

just like my Marquesas ,and my polynesian,and native american feathers tattoos,is all just art. 

I don't think it's disrespectful at all,screw the politically correct crap !  

like I said before,nobody owns a style or form of art.

IMO no big deal.

sorry for the rant,and I didn't mean to derail your thread.

I agree with you on the whole political correctness thing Dan, but in my opinion, nowadays nobody assumes that someone's in the navy because they have an anchor tattoo. Much like sparrows/swallows and nautical stars, anchors have become a mainstream staple of traditional tattoos. And likewise I wouldn't assume that someone was Maori because they had polynesian tribal tattoos. But this specific design, the "Death Before Dishonor" dagger, still seems to be worn mainly by members of the military. I agree that nobody owns any form of art and I don't buy into the whole "cultural appropriation" thing either, hey, if you want to get something like a mandala or whatever go for it! But let's say you were to get a tattoo of the Wal*Mart logo, it would be logical to assume that you were or are employed by walmart. Again, I'm not trying to tell anybody what they can and can't do, but in my personal opinion military tattoos are like MC colors, if you haven't earned them, don't wear them.

Edited by marfil98

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3 hours ago, Dan said:

I was never in the Navy,but I got my anchor tattoo like many people have  and I'll guess most have not been in the Navy either.

just like my Marquesas ,and my polynesian,and native american feathers tattoos,is all just art. 

I don't think it's disrespectful at all,screw the politically correct crap !  

like I said before,nobody owns a style or form of art.

IMO no big deal.

sorry for the rant,and I didn't mean to derail your thread.

Dan, as I see the difference here is that there are many military and civilian applications related to the sea, sailing and anchors. And, as the OP mentioned, there are daggers in all forms and types out there. In this specific case, the Death Before Dishonor does have a more specific military history and link. Again, people are free to do what they want - and it's certainly not my place to judge. Just offering my humble opinion. If anything, I am very much against PC.

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On 1/10/2017 at 5:09 PM, marfil98 said:

Yeah, after doing a bit more research I've decided against it. What I wanted to know was basically: If you saw someone with this tattoo would you assume they were in the military? And now knowing that answer is yes, I can't in good conscience get it. I still want some form of dagger tattoo on my forearm but I'll go with something with no ties to the military, like a dagger through a rose, or through a panther head, or through a skull etc.

I agree with you on the whole political correctness thing Dan, but in my opinion, nowadays nobody assumes that someone's in the navy because they have an anchor tattoo. Much like sparrows/swallows and nautical stars, anchors have become a mainstream staple of traditional tattoos. And likewise I wouldn't assume that someone was Maori because they had polynesian tribal tattoos. But this specific design, the "Death Before Dishonor" dagger, still seems to be worn mainly by members of the military. I agree that nobody owns any form of art and I don't buy into the whole "cultural appropriation" thing either, hey, if you want to get something like a mandala or whatever go for it! But let's say you were to get a tattoo of the Wal*Mart logo, it would be logical to assume that you were or are employed by walmart. Again, I'm not trying to tell anybody what they can and can't do, but in my personal opinion military tattoos are like MC colors, if you haven't earned them, don't wear them.

My father had that exact same tattoo on his bicep ... I always thought it was very cool. :)

Speaking of Walmart tattoos and earning tattoos ... lol ... this gentleman certainly seems to have earned his!

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