The nautical star can have multiple symbolic meanings. It may refer to the first point of Aries, or it may be used as a point of reference in astronomical navigation. It may also refer to a five-pointed star with alternating shading, which is popular in tattoo designs.
In a nautical almanac, the first point of Aries is given in reference to 57 other stars. As a tattoo symbol, the nautical star has many meanings. Informally, it may indicate membership in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. The alternating shading is borrowed from the compass rose of traditional nautical charts. If the tattoo is on the wrist, it is believed to be a positive guide for the future.