Gang members can be identified by their tattoos, which can serve as a symbol of loyalty to the group and a warning sign of potential violence. It is typical practice for gang members to use tattoos as intimidation and territorial marking against other gangs. In most gangs, only active members are allowed to sport gang tattoos.
Every tattoo has a hidden significance, and tattoos cement criminal organizations together.
MS-13 is primarily housed in prisons in El Salvador and Honduras, two of the world’s most dangerous countries. Striped tattoos symbolize their dedication to the commander throughout their bodies. The Barrio 18 gang is MS-13’s primary foe.
Pagans may be confused by the meanings of tattoos, but gang members know precisely what they all symbolize. They help spot gang members and prevent them from defecting to the enemy.
Table of Contents
A “teardrop tattoo” is a symbol associated with gangs or prison culture, typically depicting an individual who has recently been released from prison, suffered public humiliation, or is honoring or mourning a loved one who has passed away.
Latin Kings was founded amidst the enormous influx of immigrants to the United States in the 1950s. Puerto Ricans tend to cluster, coming together in self-defense against discrimination and violence under the Latin Kings.
Erik Eck, a former member of the Latin Kings, stands in the doorway of his cell at the DuPage County, Ill., Jail displaying tattoos that symbolize his status with the gang.
Crips are easily identifiable by their distinct fashion sense, which includes wearing hats at an angle and square scarves tucked into the right pocket. They also use a variety of symbols and hand gestures. Six-pointed stars, hexagonal crowns, and the number 6 are all symbols that certain Crips employ. They are most easily identified by the ‘dot’ that a member places at each graffiti or tattoo location that they have chosen. Watch is an acronym for “My Crazy Life” (My Crazy Life).
Skulls with wings have been a common symbol for biker groups like the Hell’s Angels and Harley Davidson for quite some time. Skulls have always represented death in religious art, while bat wings have alternately represented regeneration. The Norwich Historic Church Trust states that the picture of a skull with bat wings in its mouth on the memorial to Augustine Curtis represents rebirth after death.
Ku Klux Klan
Three notorious far-right organizations in the United States promote the ideology of white supremacy, and the Ku Klux Klan is one of them. With their distinctive white coats and pointed hoods, they stand out.
For more than 25 years, the man from had a symbol of hate in the form of a tattoo on his right arm.
Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 as it is commonly abbreviated. One of the transnational criminal gangs with an “awful” membership, they have their roots in Los Angeles, California, USA. Over time, MS13’s octopus trunk reached Canada and Central South America; full-body tattoos are a telltale of affiliation with this gang. Body.
Grandel Gang Tattoo
A Grandel fan has shown his devotion to the band by getting their name tattooed in big letters on his back. Furthermore, the man’s membership in the Grandel gang is shown by the cardinal he carries, which bears BB’s initials on the bird’s body.
Those who wanted to join the New Mexican Mafia were required to have tattoos depicting a skull, double skull, double “MM,” and flames within a circle. The double M should make a downward, diagonal curve at its base. It’s a clue that if the person was once part of the Mexican Mafia, he’s now part of the new Mafia.
There is a clockwise lean to the massive flames, which are partially obscured. There is a distinct clockwise slant to the little flames, which are believed to be entirely covered by the shade. The highest accolade a member can receive, the commission symbolizes that the member has successfully finished an attack on his “enemy.”
A gang member with a tattoo covers it up. As authorities understand the significance of gang tattoos, many people are opting to cover them up.
Aryan Brotherhood Prison Tattoos
The Aryan Brotherhood, or AB for short, is the most incredible white supremacist gang and criminal organization in the United States. Other names for the gang include The Brand, Alice Baker, AB, and One-Two. An estimated 20,000 convicts and ex-offenders make up the ranks of AB, the largest and bloodiest inmate gang in the United States.
The gang’s origins can be traced back to 1964 when Irish cyclists formed it to protect white inmates from the newly segregated jails.
Prisoners in Nazi Germany were assigned this number. Fourteen stands for the number of times Nazi general David Lane remarked, approximately translated, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children.”
Meanwhile, the numeral 88 signifies the letter H from the eighth position of the alphabet multiplied by two, which stands for the letters HH, or Heil Hitler, the Nazi leader. The tattoo, as mentioned earlier, is visible on all of the inmate’s skin.
This is the symbol of the 1488 gang. Only fully fledged members of the gang are permitted to get the symbol
Lengthy incarceration is often symbolized as a spider web. The picture of a spider catching its prey or a prisoner behind bars comes to mind while considering this emblem. Typically, these tattoos are seen on the elbows but can also be found on the neck.
The Japanese Yakuza
One of the rites of passage into Japan’s most notorious criminal organization is getting a total body tattoo.
The Yakuza is the most significant criminal organization in the world, not just because of its prominence in Japan. Wiki says that the Yakuza are usually referred to by the term good, which means “mafia” or “traditional criminal groups” in Japan.
3 Dots Tattoos
The famous “mi vida loca” (my crazy life) three-dot tattoo is widely seen among inmates. Inmates frequently have this tattoo on their hands or near their eyes.
The three dots may also have a religious significance, such as signifying the Trinity or the Three Holy Apostles in Christianity. Most commonly, three sharp sticks are used to make the dots.
The five dots on your skin signify your years behind bars. This pattern of five dots is called a quincunx, and it represents a jail cell with four walls on the outside and one prisoner on the inside many incarcerated people in the United States and Europe sport this tattoo.
Inmates often sported them on their hands, typically in the webbing that separates the thumbs and index fingers. Many distinct connotations are associated with the five dots in various locations on the body.
De Mau Mau Gang
Charles 37X Morris, a.k.a. Charles Kenyatta, was a former bodyguard of Malcolm X and the man responsible for founding the group De Mau Mau. The Black Panther Party, the Black Guerrilla Clan, the Gang Black Disciples, and Black Nationalism all had an impact on the ideology of African-American gangs (BLA)
The number Of The Beast – 666
This tat is a symbol of all that is dark and wicked. Those who are incarcerated and wish to demonstrate their authority often carve this tattoo on their bodies.
A Tiktoker went viral after recording a confrontation with a man who harassed her over her “666” tattoo. Here, a man is seen getting a “666” tattoo inked on his arm in 2007.
La Eme or The US
One of the many violent inmate gangs. Inmates with these tattoos frequently form alliances with the Aryan Brotherhood in order to combat the Nuestra Familia.
Watches Without Hands
These inmates have gotten a tattoo to commemorate their time behind bars. Sometimes, just like a watch with a full strap, a prisoner will have the specifics of the case that resulted in their sentence inscribed on their wrist.
There are other watches where the face is shaped like a traditional wall clock or pendulum clock. Contrary to popular belief, not all jail clock tattoos depict time served. People who have lost an arm are sometimes symbolically represented with clock tattoos.
The Norteos are an adversarial gang to the Sueros, who are also a Southern California-based Hispanic gang. Delano, California serves as the demarcation point between the two gang territories. Cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine trafficking and distribution are major sources of revenue for Norteos.