Flannel Flower Tattoos: Symbolism Meanings and More

Flannel Flower Tattoos: Symbolism Meanings and More

Flower tattoos have a variety of different meanings and symbolism associated with them. The tradition of floral tattoos dates back to ancient tattooing traditions, and since the West has adopted this tattoo style, it’s only become even more popular.

The Flannel flower tattoo is no exception. This tattoo holds amazing symbolism and meaning. In this article we will discuss in greater detail the history of the Flannel flower tattoo, it’s symbolism and meaning, where a Flannel flower tattoo is usually placed and common characteristics and styles of this popular flower tattoo.

What is the History of Flannel Flower Tattoos?

Traditional tattooing practises consisted mostly of tribal designs, but flowers and animals were incorporated in many of the designs. Traditionally, the tattoos helped establish a sense of identity, and the tattoo would use plants and animals local to the area where you were from.

The Flannel flower is native to Australia. It has velvety soft white petals, tinted with sage green at the tips. The petals are covered in soft little hairs, giving this flower it’s soft, “flannel-like” texture. It was first discovered and first described by the French botanist Jacques Labillardiere.

This flower can be found growing in and around Sydney, in the Australian bush. It’s a hardy plant and well adapted to the extreme weather conditions.

What Do Flannel Flowers Symbolise?

There are a few meanings for flannel flowers. Flannel flowers are strong, sturdy flowers, and need to be adaptable the harsh, changing Australian weather. For this reason, Flannel flowers symbolise strength and adaptability.


Due to the white colour of these beautiful flowers, they also can represent purity and are widely sought after for many festival and religious ceremonies.

More recently, the flannel flower has been chosen as the national symbol to promote mental health awareness, due to its links to strength and adaptability. The reason for this choice is because both inner strength and resilience are both needed in order to heal from a mental health issue as well as maintain good mental health.

What Do Flannel Flower Tattoos Mean?

Flannel flower tattoos can mean a variety of things. The reason behind getting a particular tattoo is very personal. Two people with the same tattoo can have chosen to get it for entirely different reasons.

Someone might choose to get flannel flower tattoo due to being Australian and wanting to show national pride, but in a more feminine and dainty way. Flower tattoos are a great way to do this, and the Flannel flower is an excellent choice, as the main piece or as part of a bouquet of several Australian flowers and plants.

Most of the time, the tattoo meaning is linked back to it’s symbolism. Since flannel flowers have been chosen as the national symbol for mental health awareness, a person with a flannel flower tattoo is probably raising awareness.


Where Do Flannel Flower Tattoos Usually Go?

Tattoos can go just about anywhere on the body you want, and the same is true for Flannel Flower tattoos. However, there are some standard places that make floral tattoos pop.

  1. The Forearm – This is the most popular place for flower tattoos, including flannel flower tattoos. Often times any tattoo that is for mental health awareness is used to cover up self-harm scars as a reminder not to harm anymore, as well as hide the scars left by the unwanted and unhealthy behaviour, giving back some confidence.
  2. Hip/ Thigh – This is an excellent choice if you want a small or larger piece. Sometimes, people self-harm on their thighs, so it makes a great place for a flannel flower tattoo.
  3. Across the Shoulder – This is very popular, especially for tattoos where the flower’s petals or seeds are being blown about by the wind. It gives the illusion of movement, which symbolises growth and progress, an apt reminder message for a flannel flower tattoo.
  4. Ankle – The ankle is perfect for people who want to raise awareness about mental health but who work in professions where ink needs to stay mostly hidden.

Characteristics And Styles of Flannel Flower Tattoos

Traditionally, floral tattoos come in many different flavours. It’s very much down to personal preference combined with the tattoo artist you choose. Some tattoo artists are renowned for their delicate line work, others for their colour work or black and white style. If you want a job. Below are several different styles that work with flannel flower tattoos:

Black and white

Many opt for a traditional black and white flower with a stem or a bouquet of them on their forearms. Pink flannel flowers also exist, so some incorporate both the white and pink varieties into their tattoo.

Flannel flower with Quote

Many mental health tattoos include a quote that helped the person through their difficult mental health journey. Incorporating this into a flannel flower tattoo would help make it a truly personal and unique piece.

Flannel flowers with an animal

Other styles include adding an Australian animal to the mix. Echidnas are very popular at the moment, so creating a piece celebrating all things Australian is very trendy at the moment. If you like the delicate floral look, adding different local flowers to the tattoo is also common.


Another popular style is combining the flannel flowers with a shape. Creating a geometric design with just the blossom of the Flannel flower or having a bunch with a diamond shape coming out of them is another trendy design.

Another way is by the tattoo artist using triangles to create the shape of the flannel flower blossom itself. This style is usually done in black and white.


Flannel flowers symbolise purity, strength, and adaptability. As such they are Australia’s symbol for mental health awareness. Having a tattoo with this flower marks Australian pride as well as an homage to mental health sufferers or raising awareness for those who do suffer. The tattoos can be as small or as big as you want.

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