Tattoos can symbolize different emotions, concepts and ideologies to many different cultures. While a tiger might represent power and strength in one culture, it may represent protection and wisdom in another. A symbol or image's personal meaning to an individual can factor into a design as well.
Certain tattoos mean different things depending on a person's culture. For example, according to Inked, a butterfly can represent change or transformation. In Greek culture, though, the butterfly is also a symbol for the soul. In Chinese culture, two butterflies together represent love. Another example is a bald eagle, which is a symbol of freedom and nationality for countries like the United States, Mexico, India and Armenia, but in Native American cultures, it is a source of power and wisdom.
According to The Guardian, some tattoos symbolize membership to certain groups of society. Some members of military groups such as the U.S. Navy have tattoos that symbolize a sailor's position, rank or membership in the navy. The tattoos' true meanings, however, depend on the ship he served on and the era in which the sailor served. A teardrop is another tattoo that is associated with death and mourning, or sometimes may represent being in prison. Amy Winehouse had an unfilled teardrop tattoo on her cheek to symbolize her husband's prison stay.