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What Does Solid Black Armband Tattoos Symbolize?

The widespread acceptance and popularity of body ink has inspired people to look at different places to find the most authentic and detailed tattoo ideas for their bodies. However, not everyone is interested in using colored or abstract ink. Many people are looking for tattoos that are easy to do, don’t hurt too much, and are minimalistic. One of these tattoos is the solid black armband tattoo.

However, black armband tattoos are more than just a representation of minimalism. They symbolize deeper emotions which we will symbolize in the article below. Solid black bracers are also used in different tribes around the world, so they also have a rich cultural history.

Solid black armband tattoos are there to symbolize several things. We have already mentioned the symbolism of minimalism. Minimalism is defined by simplicity, and that is exactly what the black armband tattoo represents. Nonetheless, the minimalist approach to plain black armband tattoos hasn’t stopped many tattoo artists and those who got tattoos from combining their designs.

With that in mind, they would combine long and wide armbands or even sport several solid black rings in one tattoo, mostly two. Sometimes there were dotted patterns, with cutouts that still looked minimalistic when added to a solid all-black armband.

Also, some people are not happy with a small tattoo design, like the date of a relationship that ended or something else, and they would like to hide the date or a name that they don’t want to remember anymore.

Where did the solid black armband tattoo come from?

Where did the solid black armband tattoo come from?
Registered tattoo

The black armband was symbolic before it started appearing so often on tattoos. It appears for the first time in the 18e century in England. It was first used as a mourning asset during the Regency era.

The trend continued in the early 19e century with adult men and children wearing it when they wanted to mourn someone. The peak of this trend began when Queen Victoria ruled England. When the Queen’s husband died in 1861, all royal servants were required to wear black armbands to honor him. They mourned King Albert in black crepe armbands for 8 years, and some even longer.

The symbolism of the black armband also continued through the protests of the 20e century, especially in 1965. The black armbands were decorated with white peace signs, where protesters took part in school protests across the United States. The protest was related to the Vietnam War. Some children have even been suspended from school by the court for wearing plain black armbands.

Today, black armbands are used to honor deceased athletes or to generally express mourning in sport. The trend began in 1907, when Chick Stahl, manager of the Boston Americans, committed suicide. Club players wore black crepe armbands around their left arm to honor Stahl.

The trend has continued since 1920 when Cleveland Indians teammates wore black armbands to honor teammate who was killed by a bullet to the head, Ray Chapman. It has been used to honor athletes and mourn many times in sport. When the Boston Marathon bombings happened, Cleveland players wrapped black armbands on their left arm to honor the victims.

Best Arm Tattoos for Men 2022

However, with the widespread use of tattoos these days, many people who long for someone else who is no longer alive have decided to ink a solid black armband over their tattoo instead of wearing the cuff. Below we will look at the symbolism of solid black armband tattoos.

Black armband tattoo with flowers
Registered tattoo

Solid Black Armband Tattoo Symbolism

So we have listed some origins of solid black armband tattoos. The culture of wearing black crepe armbands and bows has inspired people to also get a tattoo that will stay there permanently. Although death and mourning are not the only symbolism of this type of tattoo, we will discuss this symbolism first.


As mentioned earlier, mourning is the key meaning behind solid black armband tattoos. This symbolism descended on tattoos after the royal family, and different communities used black crepe arm bands and bows to honor the dead.

Why did it start to be used in tattoos? Well, the first reason is that many people find it difficult to separate from their deceased loved ones. Some of them just learn to live with them, and some people take time and a lot of dedication before they move on.

If the person is important to her, she wants to honor them and keep them close to her heart and soul by getting a tattoo on her left arm, usually a bicep, although any part of the arm is fine. Many people do not feel limited by which arm they choose, as many people get armband tattoos on their left and right arms.

Some people also ink thicker armband tattoos to highlight someone closer or more important in their life, while others also tattoo smaller circles to emphasize that the person was younger or a other symbolism.

The solid black armband tattoo is also the symbolism of honoring the person, so if they have done something significant throughout their life, the tattoo will serve them to remember forever, at least through the body art.

Sometimes people who want to mourn someone important to them by tattooing a solid black armband tattoo, also add other elements that could describe the person they respect and want to honor.

For example, if the deceased loved flowers, especially roses, the armband tattoo could feature a floral design to honor the deceased. If they loved the sky and the stars, there could be clouds, stars and the moon.

If you feel like giving extra honor to the one you want to mourn, you can discuss with your tattoo artist what symbolic elements could be combined in the tattoo.


Black armband tattoo on bicep
Image credit: Instagram.com

The second of the most notable meanings of the solid black armband tattoo is strength. It symbolizes joy and relief after overcoming certain trials, and the reward of peace and strength.

Many people believed that overcoming certain difficulties and challenges meant that they became stronger and prepared for new, more difficult challenges. They wanted to showcase these strength rewards with the plain black armband tattoos.

This is why a solid black armband tattoo that manifests strength is designed in such a way that the lines marking it are thinner. This allows people who have overcome different challenges to ink multiple armband rings as representations of overcoming multiple challenges thrown at them in the past.

Strength is also associated with the mourning symbolism of plain black armbands. People who were able to carry on the memory of the deceased loved one and “wrap” them into a tattoo were considered strong in several cultures that marked solid black tattoos.

Most people who want to show their strength through the solid black armband tattoo will ink it on their biceps. The bicep has always been a symbol of strength and many athletes pump it up to prove they can stay in shape.

The solid black armband tattoo will also motivate many athletes to stay fit and keep exercising so that the tattoo itself looks better.


Solid Black Armband on Ankel
Image credit: Instagram.com

Apart from the two aforementioned meanings, an important solid black armband tattoo symbolism includes protection. This belief has mostly persisted in different tribes and other cultural systems. Since a solid black armband tattoo is a solid circle that never ends, it has been considered a kind of patch through which evil spirits cannot enter.

In some cultures, it was believed that evil spirits could enter the body through the wrists, ankles, elbows or knees, which is why many people make a solid armband tattoo around these areas. This way, these people would not be affected by evil spirits or bewitched in their endeavors.

Many undertakers ink a solid black armband tattoo so that evil spirits that have potentially escaped the bodies of the dead do not enter. The endless circle prevents them from entering the body.


Since black armbands were used in protests against the Vietnam War, we also found the symbolism between strong black armband tattoos and courage, and of course the struggle for peace and freedom. which was associated with these demonstrations. With this, armband tattoos with solid black rings represent the brave fight for freedom, and many people ink them to feel more courageous in their endeavors.

More to know: 13 Best Armband Tattoo Design Ideas (Meaning & Inspirations)

Solid Black Armband: More FAQs

There are many questions about solid black armband tattoos and their symbolism. We decided to help you by answering some of the questions.

Can you combine a solid black armband tattoo with another armband tattoo?

Many people openly combine solid blacks with other tattoos, especially tribal tattoos. Tribal communities like Native Americans used tribal armbands with geometric and natural symbols and combined them with solid black armband tattoos.

Are there any other meanings for solid black armband tattoos other than mourning?

As mentioned earlier, although the key symbolism of this type of tattoo is the morning, they also represent strength and power, courage, protection, and other traits. However, most of the other meanings are related to the meaning of remembrance, mourning and honoring the dead.

How much does the solid black armband tattoo cost?

These tattoos can cost between $30 for the thinnest and faintest armband tattoos, while some average prices can range from $100 to $350. Of course, some tattoo studios will charge more for this type of tattoo, and depending on the thickness of your armband, it may cost more or less.

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