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What the Colors on a Nautical Star Mean

Nautical stars are one of the most popular designs out there. They're on clothes, on shoes, on websites, on furniture, on wallpaper, on skin - everywhere. It is a vintage symbol, popularized by Sailor Jerry.

Originally the nautical star was tattooed on sailors. Stars were the only navigational system they had back then, and stars lead them home. Nautical stars symbolize home, originally.

The colors on a nautical star originally were either red and black, or green and black. There are many theories as to what the colors mean. Usually sailors would get two nautical stars tattooed, one for the port side (left) and the starboard side (right). Green and black stars represent the starboard side, and red and black stars represent the port side. It also has to do with sailor superstitions. They thought a red sky at sunset was a bad omen. Another reason why a sailor would get a red and black nautical star is that the compass at the bottom of most sea maps was red and black. Sailors were very proud of themselves and like to show off anything that has to do with sailor life. Also, red and black nautical stars meant that a sailor had traveled across the Pacific Ocean successfully at least three times. Because of all this it also symbolized good luck to the superstitious sailors.

Now, in modern times, nautical star designs and tattoos can be any shade of the rainbow. The color schemes pertain to the usual meanings we attach to colors. For example red usually means anger, or a significant occasion. Blue can mean sadness or loyalty. Now, it is a matter of personal taste.

Some prefer a vintage look to their vintage tattoo's or decorations, others like to modern it up and make it suit them better.