Republican Congresswoman and conspiracy-theory adherent Marjorie Taylor Greene channeled the memory of the ancient Spartans on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, dawning a mask during a speech with the well-known Greek expression of defiance, Molon Labe.
The expression Molon Labe (Ancient Greek: μολὼν λαβέ), translates loosely to “come and take [them]” and is a classical expression of defiance.
It is among the phrases reported by Plutarch, attributed to King Leonidas in reply to the demand by the Persian King Xerxes I that the Spartans surrender their weapons.
In the United States, far-right militia groups and white supremacists have adopted the expression, which they have printed on masks, vests, t-shirts and other paraphernalia. Gun rights advocates also use the expression when defending their rights to own guns.
In a speech on the House floor, Taylor Greene, a freshman Republican Congresswoman and supporter of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, wore a mask emblazoned with the Greek expression.
She also wore the mask when she entered the U.S. Capitol, while protesting having to walk through a metal detector and screaming at reporters, calling them liars.
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