Inked Canvas: Soldier explains patriotic tattoos

Dylan HavilandGeneral Assignment Reporter 

Brian Dinse is a junior and secondary education, history major at Southern Connecticut State University.  He serves in the Army National Guard.

Can you tell me about your tattoos?

Dinse: “I have two tattoos right now, the first one I got was the eagle across my back and the second I got just a few months ago actually is a flag on my shoulder.”

What do those tattoos mean to you?

Dinse: “Well the shoulder one, in a military uniform we wear an American flag so I got that tattooed as in I’m always in that military mode.  And of course the eagle across the back is for America, the freedom, the gracefulness and also the predatory eagle.”

What is the style of them?

Dinse: “The flag one is just block geometrical, it’s just black and white so where there is white it’s just skin and if there’s blue and red it’s black.  The eagle one has a nice shading, it goes from white to dark throughout it.  That one [eagle tattoo] is actually freehand my artist did, he drew the eagle out and he made the print but actually when he was doing the face of it, the face got smudged so that’s all freehand.”

army inkDid you help design it?

Dinse: “Being the tattoo artist I tell him what I want and I give him kind of restriction but he just goes with whatever.”

Can you tell me about tattoos in the military?

Dinse: “It’s basically like a birth right, once you are in the military you get a tattoo.  Right now they are restricting it, you are not allowed to have anything below the elbow or below the knee that’s why all my stuff has to be covered because they are trying to make us more professional.  So there is a little outrage about that in the military.”

Do you know when that went into effect?

Dinse: “Just a few months ago actually with the new year, almost everybody’s got tattoos.”

And what was the tattoo you were planning on your chest?

Dinse: “That one is a guardian angel, like I said you can’t have anything full sleeves anymore so I wanted St. Michael the Archangel fighting the devil on a full sleeve but I can’t have that so I’ll get St. Michael as like a guardian angel over my heart and I’ll a ribbon of meaningful people that passed away, my guardian angels.”

Photo Credit: Dylan Haviland

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