- In some cultures, the first swallow of spring is a very fortunate sight because it is an omen of financial success. To ensure wealth through the year, one must rub two coins together while watching the bird.
- A tattoo of 2 swallows represents freedom. It is a popular tattoo design amongst people who are just released from prison.
- A swallow tattoo on the fists does symbolize that the person who wears it is a good fighter (in the UK). The tattoo is supposed to give you fast hands in a fight.
- Sometimes a swallow can also be seen in gang tattoos.
- In the context of prison tattoos, swallow tattoos, as wells as bluebird and sparrow tattoos (jailbirds), are also a symbol of white supremacy for some people.
The swallow tattoo and other old-school tattoos are trendy again, especially in some scenes, such as the rockabilly scene. Swallow tattoos are a popular design amongst rockabilly girls and other retro chicks, just as nautical stars and cherry tattoos. This is due to the fact that these old school tattoos were common during the prime time of rockabilly music. A good example of the tattoo designs typical for that time is the work of tattoo artist Sailor Jerry, who had his tattoo parlor in Honolulu's Chinatown. Sailor Jerry's pupil, Ed Hardy, is known for this traditional style as well.
A symbol of hope for the return home, of loyalty to one's family and home, of freedom, the swallow is a beautiful choice for a tattoo, whether or not you plan on spending your days out at sea. As with all anamorphic, you can decide how to explain the meaning behind your skin art, each has his or her own symbolic interpretation.