They are symbolic to the sailor’s victory over certain milestones of trade. Swallow tattoos have been seen on people since ages when they held traditional significance to sailors.
It also symbolized the hope of family left behind by sailors on a mission, that they will come back home one day. Traditionally, swallow tattoos were usually worn on chest, because the belief was that swallow will lift the drowning person’s soul to the heavens. Swallow tattoos are pretty popular among both the sexes as it can represent beauty and power at the same time.