'Unbelievable' online response to Anzac tattoo

A Lower Hutt man's overwhelmed by the social media reaction to a picture of his patriotic tattoo commemorating Anzac soldiers.

Lower Hutt man Bruce Neal's tattoo

Ex-army man Bruce Neal, 59, had his chest inked with a picture of marching World War I soldiers, which form the shape of the New Zealand silver fern.

A photo of the body-artwork was shared on Facebook last week by Tattoo Parlour Pieces of Eight and has since received more than 128,000 likes while being shared with other users 40,000 times.

Several Facebook users have posted their own tattoo replicas of the design, while others suggested it should be used as a new flag for New Zealand.

"This is amazing that's what should be on our national flag," Yvonne Shirley Sanders commented.

Mr Neal, who served in the army and territorials for 18 years, told The Dominion Post the response was "just unbelievable the way it picked up."

"Obviously it struck a chord," he said.

Mr Neal said he got inspiration for the tattoo from an information board on the Wellington waterfront which displayed the soldier-shaped fern.

It was originally designed by Wellingtonian Chris Hay for upcoming Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First World War Trails project.