The Molon Labe tattoo has grown in popularity in recent years despite the fact that the phrase is quite old. Below you will see that there aren’t a lot of Molon Labe tattoo meanings to choose from, but the meanings that are out there will work for a very large percentage of the population.
On top of that, there are also plenty of ways to get your Molon Labe tattoo designed and plenty of places on your body where you can get the tattoo placed.
We will discuss the history and meaning of the Molon Labe tattoo in this post. We will dive more into the meaning of this tattoo and talk about what it might mean to someone who has this symbol tattooed on their body. We will also talk about some of the variations of the Molon Labe tattoo and how the imagery added might impact the symbolism of the tattoo. We hope that by the end of this post, you feel more informed about this historic phrase.
The History of Molon Labe
Molon Labe is an Ancient Greek phrase that has been used throughout history but is originally taken from Ancient Greek historian Herodotus’ “The Histories” which chronicles the history of Ancient Greece. The phrase has been used so many times throughout history that many people don’t know that it originated that far back. Most people do know that the phrase is Greek, but they don’t know that it is thousands of years old.
The phrase was famously said by Leonidas to the Persian emperor Xerxes at the Battle of Thermopylae. It modernly translates to “Come and take them”, a reference to a lack of surrender and a great ability to persevere. Obviously, this is a great Molon Labe tattoo to use since it means that you stand by your beliefs no matter what. There are plenty of people who are proud to wear these words because they feel that they perfectly define who they are.
It has more recently been taken by American gun and weapons advocates who staunchly defend their civilian right to bear firearms. It was also officially used by American settlers during the Texas Revolution of the early 19th century. Anyone who is a proud proponent of the American Constitution would probably be very happy with the Molon Labe tattoo considering how powerful the words are and how well they describe how they feel.
In the case of American gun advocates, Molon Labe is usually accompanied by symbols of the U.S.A. such as stars and stripes or the Statue of Liberty as well as an image of firearms. These added details emphasize the common interpretation of the Bill of Rights second amendment, denoting the “right to bear arms”.
This added imagery isn’t necessary to get the Molon Labe tattoo meaning across in most cases, but it can do two jobs: show outside observers that the owner is a proud American, and interpret the words for those who have never seen or heard them before.
Molon Labe Tattoo Meaning
The phrase is most often used in terms of war and battle, confidently daring the opposing force to proceed in a conflict. In this way, the Molon Labe tattoo represents more than just the right to bear arms. It can actually mean that the owner believes in his or her side in any type of “battle”. It is a common tattoo used by the military and can be found on those who have served in the army.
The words boast of personal ability, challenging others to strike while asserting one’s own likelihood of winning. Members of the military will often get the Molon Labe tattoo to show that they do not fear their enemy and they welcome counterattacks. Owners of these tattoos can look at the phrase to motivate them to keep fighting and to not fear anything in front of them.
The words serve as a taunt as well as a warning to not be underestimated. While the Molon Labe tattoo is very popular among gun enthusiasts, when this meaning is used absolutely anyone can get the tattoo. For example, a gang member might want to get the Molon Labe tattoo to let others around him or her know that they are not to be messed with.
Molon Labe Tattoo Variations
When looking into getting your own Molon Labe tattoo, you have some variations that you can choose from. If you don’t want to use any of these ideas you probably have a creative streak in you, but these are just some of the examples of the Molon Labe tattoo that we have seen as of late.
Molon Labe with Guns Tattoo
Crossed rifles or other guns are sometimes added to the background of the phrase, creating a crest-like design. The outline or shape of the state of Texas can also be added, highlighting the use of the phrase during the revolution. In these cases, the owners of the Molon Labe tattoos are both proud of the Second Amendment and the history of the phrase. Obviously, the Texas outline is even more suitable for people from the state.
Molon Labe with Greek Letters Tattoo
Molon Labe tattoos are most often rendered in Greek letters, harkening to the phrase’s origin. Spartan or ancient Greek-style helmets are added to many designs in order to emphasize the original context of the words. The phrase is also used by the Greek Army Corps but has been widely used throughout Western cultures because of its profundity.
In many designs, the Molon Labe font is made to look ancient and worn, or as if carved into stone, to highlight the history of the phrase. Considering that most Molon Labe tattoos are just the letters in the words, changing the font can give you a unique tattoo. Of course, since it is such a popular military tattoo, some people might prefer to use classic Greek letters to show that they have a special bond with everyone else who has the same tattoo.
Sticking with the Greek theme, we often see this tattoo coupled with an image of a Spartan helmet, spear or shield. These symbols represent Greece and the warriors that protected it, so it makes perfect sense that these images be added to the crest to create a more empowered meaning. As we mentioned above, they even talk about this translated phrase in the movie “300” which is about the Spartans. These are all relevant.
Molon Labe and Snake Tattoo
The Molon Labe tattoo paired with the snake is a great pairing of images. The coiled rattlesnake and the words, “Don’t Tread on Me”, under the snake a symbols used during the American Revolution. This was designated by Christopher Gadsden in 1775. A flag was created in this image and named after him. It was also used as an early motto flag by the Continental Marines. Both images symbolize the idea of not taking away what is yours.
As you can see, the Molon Labe tattoo is quite meaningful to most of the people who get it. It’s a “simple” tattoo to make in most cases, but it’s also one that owners can be very proud of.