German police officers take pictures as fireworks explode next to the Quadriga sculpture atop the Brandenburg gate during New Year celebrations in Berlin, Germany, January 1, 2017. (Photo by Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)
Two women kiss each other during a flashmob on the ocassion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Pamplona, Navarra, Spain, 17 May 2017. The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is held every year on 17 May. (Photo by Villar Lopez/EPA/EFE)
Women dressed in traditional Chinese costumes wait perform in celebration of the Chinese New Year at the Nankinmachi square, China Town on February 8, 2016 in Kobe, Japan. In Nankinmachi, the district known as Kobe Chinatown, tourists enjoyed Chinese food, lion dance and the parade organized to celebrate the Lunar New Year. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)
Tattoos are commonly used among criminals to show gang membership and record the wearer's personal history—such as his or her skills, specialties, accomplishments and convictions. They are also used as a means of personal expression. Certain designs have developed recognized coded meanings. The code systems can be quite complex and because of the nature of what they encode, the tattoo designs are not widely recognized.