Anchor Tattoos Traditional anchor tattoos are of course also tied to the sailor’s life, linking it to an early old school nautical motif. At sea, the anchor is the most secure object in a sailor’s life. This security can be metaphorically also applied to important people in our lives, which is why you would commonly see “Mum” on the anchor – hinting back with a mom tattoo to the most secure relationship in our life that keeps you grounded. The anchor also represented a sailor’s ability to stay grounded and calm during various unforeseen obstacles and challenges the sea would present while they were away. The traditional anchor tattoo design often has a ribbon along the bottom of the anchor, displaying the name of a family member or loved one, in constant memory while the sailor was away. In the maritime life, some say anchor tattoos indicate that the sailor has reached the rank of boatswain. Also, wearing an anchor tattoo symbolized having crossed the Atlantic Ocean.