WHAT DOES MARS STAND FOR?
Mars (Latin: Mārs, adjectives Martius and Martialis) is the Roman God of War and also an agricultural
guardian, a combination characteristic of early Rome. He was second in importance only to Jupiter, and he was the most prominent of the military gods worshipped by the Roman legions.
His festivals were held in March, the month named for him (Latin Martius), and in October, which began and ended the season for military campaigning and farming. In the “Field of Mars” was dedicated the booty brought back from campaigns, and no Roman general went to war without first proceeding to the Temple of Marspiter, to swing the sacred shield and spear, adding the words, “Watch over us, O Mars!”
This shield (ancile) was believed to have fallen from heaven at the time when Numa Pompilius was king of Rome, and like the palladium in the temple of Vesta [Hestia], was looked on with veneration. Mars is the Roman version of Ares, the Greek God of War!
WHAT IS MOLON LABE?
Molon labe (Greek: μολὼν λαβέ molṑn labé; Ancient Greek: [molɔːn labé]; Modern Greek: [moˈlon laˈve]), lit."come and take (it)", is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army's demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae. It is an exemplary use of a laconic phrase.
The phrase was reportedly the defiant response of King Leonidas I of Sparta to Xerxes I of Persia when Xerxes demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and surrender. This was at the onset of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC). Instead, the Spartans held Thermopylae for three days. Although the Spartan contingent was ultimately destroyed, they inflicted serious damage on the Persian army. Most importantly, this delayed the Persians' progress to Athens, providing sufficient time for the city's evacuation to the island of Salamis. Though a clear defeat, Thermopylae served as a moral victory and inspired the Greek forces to crush the Persians at the Battle of Salamis later the same year and the Battle of Plataea one year later.
Molon labe has been repeated by many later generals and politicians in order to express an army's or nation's determination not to surrender. The motto ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ is on the emblem of the Greek First Army Corps, and is also the motto of United States Special Operations Command Central (SOCCENT). The expression "Come and take it" was a slogan in the Texas Revolution.
In the United States, both the original Greek phrase and its English translation are often heard from pro Second Amendment activists as a defense of the right to keep and bear arms. It began to appear on web sites in the late 1990s. In the Second Amendment or firearms freedom context, the phrase expresses the notion that the person uttering the phrase is a strong believer in these ideals and will not surrender their firearms to anyone, including governmental authority. Challenge coins similar to those used by military service members have been created with the Molon Labe text and firearm images.