The meaning of a checkered-flag tattoo depends on the color of the checks. A flag with black and white checks typically refers to car racing because such flags are used to indicate the end of a race. Red and white checks often refer to the coat of arms in the Croatian flag.
Many fans of car racing get black and white checkered flags to represent their love of the sport. The design may be as simple as two checkered flags crossed at the base. Alternatively, they often incorporate racing images such as cars, flag girls and fire. They can be modified to indicate a racing death with the inclusion of a skull, crossbones or the letters "RIP" on a pendant. After famous racecar driver Dale Earnhardt's death, many fans got tattoos to memorialize him. Some incorporate flames and the number 3, which was his racecar number.
The Croatian flag includes a shield with red and white checks. This shield is the symbol of Croatia. In many Croatian designs, the red and white checks alone are representative of the country. Therefore, a flag tattoo with red and white checks can represent Croatian patriotism.
The black and white checkered flag is sometimes combined with the Confederate flag in tattoos. The Confederate flag typically represents rebellion.