So you want a tattoo. You have your eye on one of those impressive tribal armband tattoos. They are nice. But whatever tattoo you chose, you want it to compliment you. Not insult or demean you. Tattoos are as old as mankind. Ancient Egyptian tattoos found on 5,000 year old mummies predate the pyramids. But ancient tattoos weren’t just for adornment or self expression like today. They often served more practical purposes. They often had a spiritual significance, ancient warriors used them to declare their military affiliation and rank. On civilians tattoos denoted social rank and importance, or lack of same. For example, the Greeks placed tattoos on their slaves that broadcast the fact that the bearer should not be accorded the rights of a freeman and was in fact another person’s property. While Greek spies used tattoos in espionage to smuggle coded messages in plain sight.This tradition of practical tattoo use survives to this day in gangster culture. Gangsters desire to permanently mark themselves to show absolute devotion to their gangster family, and hopefully to strike fear in their enemies. Even though the gang-bangers know police find tattoos better than fingerprints, and unsurpassed for identifying them in a noninvasive manner at a distance. And despite the fact that wearing one gang’s tattoo in another gang’s territory could get the wearer killed. Again, traditionally tattoos can show devotion.