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Marked for Life: Tattoos and Gangs

Stereotypically, gangs are often depicted as tattooed tough guys. That depiction may not be too far from the truth. Tattoos are a big part of gangs, and you are unlikely to find a gang member who does not have any sort of ink on his or her body.

From simple teardrop tattoos to more intricate designs, tattoos sported by gang members can have varying meanings, and you may want to think again about getting one of these tattoos if you are a regular individual. Here are a few well-known gangs whose members have tattoos.

The Crips

This gang’s famous rivals, the Bloods are the inspirations for some of their tattoos, and if you are not a gang member, you really should avoid getting one of these tattoos. Some of their famous designs include the 211 tattoo which represents a blood killer, the 3 18 9 16 which is the letter code for Crip and BNC which means Bad News Crip.

The Latin Kings

This gang is based in Chicago and consists of mainly Hispanic members. They are actually called the Almighty Latin Kings Nation, and most members have the ALKN tattoo on their body. The most popular tattoo is the 5 tattoo which stands for sacrifice, love, honor, righteousness, and obedience.

The Hell’s Angels Bike Club

This club was once one of the most violent biker gangs in the world, and they are known for their love of bikes and violence. Their gang is represented by a “Death’s head” tattoo, with “AFFA” standing for “Angel Forever, Forever Angel.” These tattoos, along with others are often found all over members’ bodies and range from being black to being colorful.

Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan is a known hate group that has gang members all over the world. They are famous for their civil crimes against several ethnic, religious, and other groups, and they are also known for sporting a tattoo of a noose – a symbol of lynching and murder. This tattoo has also been adopted by other white supremacist gangs along with that of the Confederate flag, a symbol of segregation and deep-seated prejudice.

The Bloods

The Bloods are the rival gang of the Crips, and they often have the letters MOB tattoo on their bodies as a symbol of “Member of Blood,” their union. They also have the paw of a dog, along with “Dawg,” a term they use to refer to each other.

There is no denying that tattoos mean a lot to gang members from all over the world and each tattoo bears a lot of significance to them. It is advised that regular people stay away from these types of tattoos as they can be confused for gang members by law enforcement groups that have become very familiar with gang tattoos, as they use them to identify criminals. Many prisoners often have gang tattoos, and some are tattooed while they are in prison. Tattoos and gangs go hand in hand, and they will only grow in popularity as gangs continue to grow bigger.

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