Questions about a double-headed eagle tattoo

64 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello, all. This may seem like an odd post, but I am very pleased to have found this forum. I am a young male, 34, from NY. I work in NYC and live on Long Island. I will be coming here repeatedly as I am vacationing near Munich next year. Everyone here seems very nice and free to share knowledge so I am grateful for that. Anyhow, I will get to the point.

I have a tattoo of a double headed eagle. I liked the design of it, so I went for it. It is just like that of the Holy Roman Empire a very old fashioned design. I didn't know much about German history or flags but under this eagle I have a proverb "Not Bricht Eisen". I believe I live by this proverb as I have had to overcome many obstacles in life.

Now, fast forward a couple years and I did some family research. This is somewhat related to my tattoo. I found a NYC census from 1870. My great great great grandfather was in this building in NYC and he put Baden as his place of origin. His wife put Hessia (Or hessen?). I found this very interesting, I always knew I had German in me, but never knew from where.

On another census from 1910, again in NYC, my great great grandparents-next generation-they put down that their parents were from germany, which I found to be correct, but they put their own countries of origin as Austria and Hungaria...which I found to be confusing. But ok I know things were changing drastically in middle europe during those times. The next census had my great grandparents, who were born here. But my great grandfather died young and my great grandmother re-married a German American who had served in the German airforce in WW1.

Have I confused anyone yet? lol ok Here is my question to you all, if you still care.

When I travel to Germany will it be considered taboo for me to have a tattoo of a double headed eagle? Since it's my understanding most middle class Germans wanted a free unified state without imperial rule. Most Germans immigrated to the US during a revolution(which started in Baden to my understanding) which occurred in the mid 1800s, when there was a loosely unified confederation, I think this is when my ancestors came here. Also, I get these Albanians asking me if I am from Albania and this annoys me, LOL. Apparently in Albania they use the double headed Eagle. Many societies used this emblem...Byzantines, the Masons, etc...

But my intent is to show my German heritage. I considered getting a German flag on the tattoo. So that Albanians leave me alone, lol. But a German flag over two headed eagle seems wrong to me. I think it should be something to represent my family history from Germany and Austria-Hungray. Am I overthinking things? I just wanted some input from a German or someone who might be a little more sensitive to these things.

Sorry for this long post, but I do appreciate the input.

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Posted

When I travel to Germany will it be considered taboo for me to have a tattoo of a double headed eagle?

Is it on your forehead? If so, I'll leave it to the double-headed eagle experts.

Found this.

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Posted

1) yes, you are overthinking things

2) I guess ti depends on which part of your anatomy the tatoo is, and if you really go around flaunting it, of it just happens to be wherever it is.

3) If it's on your bum and you show it to every old lady you can find, you will get in trouble :D

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Posted

Well, where is it then?

Assuming it's on your upper arm, can it easily be covered up?

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Posted

Oh and thank you for the links to other posts, I find them quite helpful. I know I'll be a guest in another country and don't want to stir any political feelings for anyone. Yes I can cover it easily. But what pisses me off the most is these Albanians when I work out in the gym. Here in NYC we have an Albanian population and they have these double headed eagle stickers on their car windows. Totally different design, not even close...but yea I'm going to get the Black/Red/Gold.

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Posted

This "double-headed" eagle should stir up far less trouble.

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Posted

Relax. I dont think it's a big deal and on your upper left arm it's not that prominent unless you go about in a muscle shirt all the time. You dont do you?

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Posted

No one will give a flying fig.

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Posted

I never understand the frequent desire of Americans to nationalise distant relatives, in an attempt to identify an ethicity outside of that given at birth. Is it a need to feel different?

If your great-great-great-grandfather emigrated from Germany to America, that makes you, well, American.

You know that's absolutely untrue. He's an American to all Americans, but to Europeans he is whatever ethnic tracing they can make and stereotype they can pin to those roots. They will call him use whatever ethnicity- American, Hungarian, Hessian- to attribute whatever negative stereotypes they wish. In Europe, it's all about your distant ancestors and one can never be the nationality of the place one is now.

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Posted

no need to cover your eagle, I'd say. But a black/red/gold flag will probably be seen with much suspicion if there is no major sports events at the time of your visit :-)

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Posted

By the way, OP, is that an actual picture of your tattoo?

Might want to get yourself checked out for jaundice.

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Posted

Whereas head to Boston or New York for St. Patrick's Day, and you would think half the bloody country was born in Ireland..

They were, too. F*cking Catholics.

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Posted

Whereas head to Boston or New York for St. Patrick's Day, and you would think half the bloody country was born in Ireland..

Not born in Ireland, but surely 95% of Bostonians are "Irish".

What is so wrong with bringing over some of the traditions? Mexicans celebrate many things Spanish style, yet I don't see you banging on them.

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Posted

I'm part native American. But yeah... even though most of my ancestors were from England, you won't find the Union Jack tattooed on my ass. Arse.

whatever.

Thank God - M would probably post a picture of it if it were!

I don't think the OP will have any trouble here either with or without his tattoo, but personally, I don't really like them.

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Posted

Yes, if you want to talk about the aesthetics of the thing, that is one ugly tattoo.

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Posted

Thanks to all for your input. Of course I am American, I served in the US Marines, and I love apple pie and baseball. But hey I also follow the Bundesliga.

I think Gail is correct. I find validity in this statement. I work with all kinds of people...from China, Russia, Poland, Africa, British Guinea, you name it. They do consider themselves, and me, American(yes we're a country of immigrants). But, when they look at last names, they assume/ask where one is from or where one has ancestral roots, and then they begin to judge. That's how it is with my job. Even though my family has been in or around NYC for generations, most of us Americans have stereotypes...such as with Italians, Irish, etc. I understand that being German/Hessian/Hungarian is nothing more than a genetic accident and nothing in itself to be proud of, it is my ancestors and what they accomplished that I am proud of. And for that matter, myself I am also proud of. I have pride for what I have achieved in life. I have always been told I come from good roots. As I am sure, so are you all from the same good stock. People might say ancestry and history does not matter, but I beg to differ. Other than what we personally make of ourselves, our family ancestry is who we are.

I am happy to hear no one could care about this tattoo, and I am not going to waltz into Germany thinking I am German...in NYC I see lots of tourists and I can understand how one might feel to an American visiting their country. Nobody likes tourists, right? LOL

I do plan to visit the Hofbrauhaus, so if you see a guy with this "tattoo" on his left arm, come and say hello!

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