Nautical stars were first tattooed on early sailors because they
relied on the stars to find their way, therefore they always had a
star to be with them and always knew where they were going in their
own lives and at sea. It was kind of a sense of security and
Here is more input:
I believe the design you are all talking about is the
traditional design for the face of a ship's compass. The 4 longest
points indicate the cardinal directions, N, S, E & W. Between
these are shorter points for NE, SE, SW, and NW. 8 additional
points indicate NNE, ENE, etc.
People who have nautical star tattoos have said it is: a symbol
to follow your dreams, a remembrance star, something to let
everyone know that you rely on the stars to guide you in the
specific path you choose, or representing love.
Back in the day when being gay wasnt the thing to do, butch
females would get the tattoo on the inside of their wrists so they
could cover it up with a watch during the day and at night they
could take off the watch and other dykes would know.
The bit about the nautical star being used as a signal for
butch lesbians to find other lesbians in the 40's-60's is true. It
fell out of favor in the late 60's with the advent of feminism,
when lesbians became more openly visible. It was typically hidden
under a watchband.
It was used for navigation back in the day now people say its
for sense of direction in your life it has nothing to do with
anarchy or the pentogram and whoever said that they are an "avid"
punk rocker needs to smack themselves very hard in the face.
Back in the day the sailors had it tattooed on them, much like
they would an anchor. The nautical star is a symbol of guidance.
The sailors rely on the stars for navigation, hence "follow the
stars." Nowadays, people like to say "follow your dreams."
First of all the star represents navigation in the Navy. That
is where its original meaning came from. Now days it is a
representation of OC = Orange County, CA. Straight edge is a black
X not a Nautical Star and straight edge ended along time ago here
in Huntington Beach, CA. The gang anyways. Alot of people still say
they are straight edge (followers) meaning that they do not do
drugs, smoke or have sex. Not that they are in a gang. I also had a
Mexican guy come up to me in Santa Ana and ask me where I did 2
years at. I have 2 nautical stars on my shoulders since 1995 not
2000 when MTV put them out and they became trendy so I assume in
the Mexican community that it represents doing 1 year for each
star. I do not know about the whole lesbian thing. That sounds like
a gimmick. I believe dykes have Dolphins tatted on them not
The nautical star may be a fad, however there is a real reason
it was created to mean what it does. Regardless, it doesn't matter
what it really means now, right? Sailors apparently started it,
then only lesbians got them, the emo kida had 'em circa 1985, then
it went out of fashion, blah blah blah. I have 2 1.5 inch black and
dark pink stars tattooed on my lower stomach, on both sides of my
hips. I got them because I had a wristband with the exact star on
it for about 2 years, and it was my favorite. I love stars too!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a lesbian, I'm not a sailor, and I'm
not a hardcore punk chick. I'm not straight edge either. You can
compare and contrast the real meaning of the nautical maritime
star, but I believe there is no real meaning. Just like the
swactica, the cross, and even the middle finger. They were all
started somehow, sometime, no one knows for sure. It all comes down
to personal interpretation. Whatever you feel is right.