The permanence of a tattoo practically screams a message to the world and is a passionate way to show off national pride. Some tattoo designs are obvious ways to represent Portugal and more subtle designs may only be noticeable for a person familiar with the country and culture.
An obvious choice to represent Portugal is the flag. This tattoo can be varied by using just the coat of arms that appears in the middle of the flag. The coast of arms has had different versions throughout the years and a historical version can make for an interesting slightly less obvious option. For a very subtle version you could also use just a piece of the coat of arms, like the blue cross or shields.
The rooster of Barcelos or the "galo de Barcelos" in Portuguese is a symbol of honesty, integrity and honor that is an unofficial symbol of the country. There are many historic and stylized versions of the rooster which usually come in red, black, yellow, orange, blue and white that could make for a colorful tattoo for both males and females.
Portugal is famous for its decorative ceramic arts and a pattern drawn from that tradition can serve as a representation of Portuguese history and culture. This tattoo can also be feminine or masculine depending on the pattern chosen. Different designs can represent different regions and historic and cultural contexts. The pattern can also be drawn inside an outline of a representation of Portugal like a famous monument, the Portuguese rooster or the shape of the country to emphasize the meaning.
Flowers associated with Portugal can make for a more subtle and feminine tattoo. The national flower of Portugal is lavender which can be coupled with a phrase written in Portuguese. Lilies, gerberas, sunflowers and blossoming almond tree flowers are also popular flowers in Portugal. You can choose a flower associated with certain regions where many people of Portuguese ancestry live like the African islands of Madeira or the Azores to be more specific to a certain heritage or culture.