The thistle is a plant with rough appearance and many symbolic meanings in different cultures, making a remarkable design for tattoos. A thistle tattoo can be a symbol of pride, determination, tenacity, and toughness in the face of great hardship.
The thorny plant is crowned with a beautiful purple flower, a color long associated in Europe with royalty and nobility. In most places, the thistle might be considered a nuisance and a weed but for Scotland, it represents the national emblem.
The thistle was adopted as a symbol of Scotland following a legend which says that in the 9th century, the Scots were alerted by an imminent attack by the Danes when one of the Scandinavian barefoot fighters stepped on a thistle and cried out for pain. As a result, the invaders were successfully put to flight.
In modern times, many Scottish Associations and sports organizations feature the thistle in their team logos, as a point of Scottish pride and as a symbol of toughness.
A thistle tattoo speaks of the pride in being Scottish, but you do not have to be Scots to get a thistle tattoo; you can wear it as a talisman against the evil eye, damage, others’ bad thoughts or as a symbol of great hardships you passed on.