Olive Branch Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Olive Branch Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Elements of nature have deep-rooted symbolism, and they translate into beautiful tattoos. An olive branch tattoo is one that can be dainty or elaborate depending on your creativity and inspiration.

While we know the common expression of extending an olive branch to offer help to those who need it, the olive branch symbolizes so much more.

What Does An Olive Branch Represent?

An olive branch is a symbol of peace, and it has been so for centuries. We can look back at ancient Greek mythology to see one of the earliest references to olive branches being used to enact peace and harmony.

The Greek myth goes that at one point, both Poseidon and Athena were in competition to see who could reign over Athens. To see who was the rightful winner, Zeus asked both Athena and Poseidon to present an offering to him.


Poseidon chose to take his spear and create a spring by smashing a rock. Athena presented Zeus with an olive tree full of beautiful, ripe olives. The olive tree won Zeus over and he gave Athens to Athena.

There is an abundance of other literary and artistic works in Greek and Roman history and mythology that depict an olive branch as being a connector and a symbol of peace.

Women also used to wear crowns made with olive branches during marriage ceremonies.

Where Else Can Olive Branch Symbolism Be Seen?

There are representations of the olive branch as representing peace in the United States, with the eagle holding an olive branch in one hand on the Great Seal. There is also an olive branch on the Cyprus flag.

Christianity and Judaism also see olive branches as conduits of hope and harmony. Furthermore, the olive branch represents a friendship and the close bond one creates between people.


What Other Meanings Does An Olive Branch Have?

Depending on how an olive branch is depicted, it could have numerous other meanings.

In the example of an olive branch crown during ancient Roman or Greek weddings, the olive branches symbolize modesty and virginity, and the passing to the spouse representing a new beginning to a fruitful marriage.

A dove flying with an olive branch in its mouth is another commonly seen depiction. This depiction symbolizes one who brings peace to others.

An olive branch can also be a representation of victory, as depicted in the Greek myth where Athena wins Athens.

When looking at the time that Athens was burned down, and only an olive tree recovered, we can also view the olive branch as a symbol of strength and perseverance in the face of devastation. Thus, it’s also a symbol of hope.


We can also look to the enormous lifespan of the olive tree to view it as a representation of longevity and health. An olive tree can live for up to 600 years.

What Do Matching Olive Branch Tattoos Mean?

Being such a beautiful representation of friendship, olive branch tattoos often inspire two close friends, or two people with a close bond, to get matching olive branch tattoos.

These tattoos will sometimes match in design between two people, or the tattoo will be designed in such a way that when they are seen side by side, they connect to become one olive branch.


What Do Olive Branch Heart Tattoos Mean?

The olive branch, or a series of olive branches, formed into a heart also has its own unique and beautiful meaning.It can represent a bond that is never broken; one that is strong and will last a lifetime.

This could be a beautiful tattoo to get in remembrance of someone you have lost, but will continue to love and remember throughout your life.

It can also be inspiration for a matching tattoo with someone you have a close and bonded relationship with, such as a child, a parent, or a lifelong friend.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are considering an olive branch tattoo, you might be having some trouble making a final decision. These commonly asked questions about olive branch tattoos could help.

Q: Where Do People Get Olive Branch Tattoos?

Olive branch tattoos tend to be fairly simple in design, though an artist can take complete creative control over the basic concept to transform it into something truly magical. Either way, an olive branch tattoo cannot help but be beautiful.


Thus, the placement of an olive branch tattoo can be just about anywhere. Some popular olive branch tattoo placements include the ribcage, on the inside of your forearm, or wrapped around the wrist or forearm.

They also look stunning as part of a sleeve. Another stunning placement of an olive branch tattoo is along the collarbone.

Q: How Do I Decide Where To Place My Olive Branch Tattoo?

Where you get your olive branch tattoo will depend on what size you are looking at, how elaborate you want the design, and whether or not you want it to be visible.

You also have to consider if it’ll be a stand-alone tattoo or part or an addition to an already existing tattoo.

Q: Are Olive Branch Tattoos Done In Color?

Most olive branch tattoos tend to stick to a monochrome palette. This is because the finished look ends up being delicate, which aptly represents the daintiness of an olive branch.

There might be some elements of shading to enhance the look of the olive branch, but that’s about as colored in as an olive branch tattoo gets.


That being said, they can be quite stunning when colored in. It’s really about what you prefer, since it’ll be on your body.


The olive branch is truly a versatile tattoo, not only in meaning but in overall design. You can go minimalist or extravagant, and you can assign your own meaning to it.

If you want to enjoy an olive branch tattoo simply because it’s beautiful, you will still be able to look at your tattoo in years to come and be proud of it.

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