For centuries swallow was a symbol of health, prosperity, loyalty and long distance journeys. Considered Old School style, swallow is coming back as symbol for both girls and men. A fact is that the swallows return home every year back home no matter where they are and they chooses mate for life. In Bulgarian believes white swallow is a symbol of hope and there are many stories and legends for swallows and miracles and hope.IMG_3121

When I started to write and research for this site, I learned so many interesting things and in this article I’ll share some of the interesting legends and stories behind swallow as tattoo symbol. Maybe one of the most interesting legends is coming from old nautical times where several shipmates in board of the ship called “The Swallow” staged a mutiny and got a swallow engraved with ink on their chest so they can identify each other and when authorities realized this, their friends started to engrave themselves too to trow them off the trail.

One of the other stories behind be swallow tattoo is that it is a nautical symbol because swallows are one of the first signs that the ship is approaching land. With time it became a symbol of nautical experience and was believed that a swallow is been tattooed on sailor’s chest for every 5000 nautical miles sailed. It was also considered as a mark of an achievement like sailing all seven seas, crossing the equator and etc.

Swallows are also believed to be alight upon the souls of sailors parish in the sea and taking them to heaven. They are also considered as symbol of love and loyalty to the family.SAMSUNG

Some of the other meanings of the swallow are:

  • In some cultures, the first swallow of spring is a fortunate sight because it is an omen of financial success.


  • A tattoo of 2 swallows represents freedom. Popular tattoo design amongst people who are/just released from prison.


  • Swallow tattoos, as wells as bluebird and sparrow tattoos (jailbirds), are also a symbol of white supremacy for some people.

There are a lot more meanings behind swallow and I hope I gave you some directions how to find your meaning behind a swallow tattoo.