German Eagle Tattoo

Would it be considered inappropriate?

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nw2berlin
Hi all,

My wife and I are moving back to Berlin this November, and I totally live and breathe Germany. I majored in German Language/Literature and consider Germany a very big part of my life.

I've never gotten a tattoo before, as I believe it should be something very important to you. I would like to get a tattoo of the German coat of arms, but I fear this may be looked at suspiciously by people both in and out of Germany.

Coat of arms of Germany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Germany

I don't want to be seen as a neo-nazi. My wife thinks people will see the symbol as that, but I argue that the Bundeswappen is much different from the Reichsadler used during the Nazi regime. I also know that nationalism and pride of Germany is looked down upon, but things have been changing recently.

What are your thoughts on this? Would a tattoo of the Bundeswappen be distasteful? In any other ideas for an appropriate German tattoo, or is it just not possible?

Thanks for your thoughts and cheers from Seattle,

-Ian
sarabyrd
What size and location were you thinking of? A chestful of colorful eagle would come across as rather outré while a tasteful black and white birdie discreetly placed on your upper arm will be less likely looked askance at.
nw2berlin
I was thinking of getting it either on my upper arm or on the inside of my lower arm, which would make it quite visible.
Serenajean1
I have a pretty good sized star with the german flag colors stripped through on my lower neck. I have met the occasional snide comment, or people finding it odd that I have a german patriotic tattoo, but nothing that really ever made problems for me. Nor have I been called a nazi. Though my integration course teacher liked to pick on me and call me a commi because of the star and my east german connections lol.
Chocky
Pfft, there are a dozen other countries in the world with the eagle as their national animal, and i'm pretty sure there are dozens of neo-nazis with the same idea as you. Why not go for something more ironic and get a tattoo of a sausage and a brezel on your left buttcheek?
mister_b
To demonstrate you're down with German culture, you should get yourself a nice David Hasselhoff tattoo.
Chocky
I also know that nationalism and pride of Germany is looked down upon, but things have been changing recently.
I agree, and there's nothing wrong with not being ashamed to be German, but have a think about how you as a foreigner will be perceived with a tattoo of an insignia that still has mostly negative connotations, you won't ingratiate yourself with anyone apart from the aforementioned knuckleheads.
clickety6
The eagle used on the federal coat of arms is quite different from the stylized eagle used by the Nazi's (which looks more ancient Egyptian in style). I don't think the two would be linked for most people (or could even be recognized by a lot). The eagle on the German Euro coin is different again...
mlovett
Why not a Merkel tat?
Chocky
Or Merkel and 'The Hoff', side by side in a wonderful celebration of German multi-culturalism and hands-around-the-world symbolism.
kato
The eagle on the German Euro coin is different again...
There are over a dozen different Federal Eagles which have been used officially - e.g. the one on the Euro coins, the one on DM coins, the one on DM banknotes, the one for the German Federal Soccer Team, five (!) different versions for the Bundestag, the one on the Bundeswappen, the one on the Bundesschild (which is the one used by Hitler 1933-1935), the one used as coat of arms by the Federal President (which is the same one as 1921-1933), the one on the Federal Seal, the one in passports (two versions)...

Personally i prefer the socalled Fat Chick version (Bundestag Federal Eagle, Version 1).
Beuel
The german eagle is also part of a lot of old city coat of arms.
Beuel coat of arms
I've done quite a few of them and I generally refuse to do anything that might have a nazi association.
BUT.. as a tattoo it needs some space. The white spaces between the feathers are very thin and tattoos tend to change with age, lines broaden a bit and thin white spaces might be one big black blotch after a couple of years. But if you choose a good artist he'll tell you if it is to small.
The link I've posted shows one. The guy insisted, and his old tattoos looked still pretty good, so I did it, but it's a little bit too small actually.

But as an alternative you could think of a quote. Plenty of poets and philosophers. Or a fairy tale theme from Brothers Grimm. There are quite a lot of things you can do, and maybe you should not think of an image but what germany means to you and ask your artist of choice to design something for you.
Best artists
Chocky
Be original: don't get a tattoo.
kato
@Beuel: That's a Double-Headed Eagle, which was the coat-of-arms animal of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. The Federal ("German") Eagle is the single-headed 2nd Empire version, used to show the Prussian domination over the rest of Germany (the single-headed Eagle was the Prussian coat-of-arms animal).
mlovett
Be original: don't get a tattoo.
Amen. I feel like I'm the only person in CA without one (or several).

Though sometimes I draw lines between my many freckles, sort of like a dot to dot.

I have a pretty good sized star with the german flag colors stripped through on my lower neck.
Do you have any data as to whether this increases randiness in German males?
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