MOLON LAVE (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ) - The phrase from yesterday to today

The ancient Greek verb phrase "MOLON LAVE" was the answer of Leonidas, king of Ancient Sparta, to the Persian king when he demanded the surrender of the Lacedaemonians, shortly before the battle of Thermopylae.
Molon labe (Ancient Greek: μολὼν λαβέ, romanized: molṑn labé), meaning 'come and take [them]', is a classical expression of defiance. It is among the Laconic phrases reported by Plutarch,[1] attributed to King Leonidas I in reply to the demand by Xerxes I that the Spartans surrender their weapons. The exchange between Leonidas and Xerxes occurs in writing, on the eve of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC).
Corpus paroemiographorum Graecorum, ed. E.L. a Leutsch et F.G ..., Τόμος 2

According to Plutarch
Plutarch in Ethics - Apothegmata Laconica 225b-10 gives us the whole epic between Xerxes and Leonidas.
Ἀποφθέγματα Λακωνικά
225b-10 ]Ξέρξου δὲ γράψαντος αὐτῷ «Ἔξεστί σοι μὴ θεομα-
χοῦντι, μετ´ ἐμοῦ δὲ τασσομένῳ τῆς Ἑλλάδος μοναρ-
χεῖν» ἀντέγραψεν «Εἰ τὰ καλὰ τοῦ βίου γινώσκοις,
ἀπέστης ἂν τῆς τῶν ἀλλοτρίων ἐπιθυμίας• ἐμοὶ δὲ
κρείσσων ὁ ὑπὲρ τῆς Ἑλλάδος θάνατος τοῦ μοναρχεῖν
τῶν ὁμοφύλων.».

Πάλιν δὲ τοῦ Ξέρξου γράψαντος «Πέμψον τὰ
ὅπλα», ἀντέγραψε «μολὼν λαβέ.»

10. When Xerxes wrote to him: “You have the ability
don't mess with the gods, take my side
and to become a monarch in Greece", she answered him with
letter: “If you knew what is good in life, you would abstain
from desiring foreign things. For me, it's a
Better to die for Greece than to be a monarch
to my fellow men".

When Xerxes again wrote to him: "Send the arms
you", he replied in writing: "Come and get them).

... το δ' ελεύθερον το έμψυχον κρίναντες μη περιοράσθε τους πολεμικούς κινδύνους ... 
urges us and really Freedom is a fruit
of Courage, Self-sacrifice and Exaltation.
Nowadays, incorrectly, the rendering of the meaning of the historical phrase is come and get them
and in English come and get it (we met it in the foreign film 300)
If Leonidas wanted to say come get them he would have said COME TAKE (ΕΛΘΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ) 
It expresses the quintessence of the Martial Virtue of the Greeks, of the Concept of Freedom and the Charitable Ethos of the Greek Personality. An important element that must be emphasized is that wars are interesting only for free people and not for slaves, slaves win or lose, slaves will remain.

The phrase "molṑn labé" is in the Classical Greek of Plutarch, and does not necessarily reflect the Doric dialect that Leonidas would have used. The form "ἔμολον" is recorded in Doric as the aorist for εἷρπον, "to go, come". The classical pronunciation is [mo.lɔ᷆ːn la.bé], the Modern Greek pronunciation [moˈlon laˈve].[a]

The phrase is participial, and the translation would be "when you come, take it!" This use of the participle is known as the circumstantial participle in the grammar of classical Greek, i.e. the participle gives a circumstance (the coming) attendant on the main verb (the taking). It is a form of hypotaxis, where English would use parataxis, the conjunction of two verbs, "come and take". This construction normally (but not always) occurs within narrative literature.

The first word, 'μολών' (molṓn, "having come") is the aorist active participle (masculine, nominative, singular) of the Greek verb βλώσκω (blṓskō, "to come").

The aorist stem is μολ- (the present stem in βλώ- being the regular reflex of μλώ-, from a verbal root reconstructed as *melə-, *mlō-, "to appear"). The aorist participle is used in cases where an action has been completed, also called the perfective aspect. This is a nuance indicating that the first action (the coming) must precede the second (the taking).

The second word, λαβέ, is the second person singular aorist imperative of λαμβάνω "take; grasp, seize". The entire phrase is thus in the singular, i.e. Leonidas is depicted as addressing Xerxes personally, not the Persian army as a group

Plutarch cites the phrase in his Apophthegmata Laconica ("Sayings of Spartans"). The exchange between Leonidas and Xerxes occurs in writing, on the eve of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC):

πάλιν δὲ τοῦ Ξέρξου γράψαντος 'πέμψον τὰ ὅπλα,' ἀντέγραψε 'μολὼν λαβέ.'

When Xerxes wrote again, 'Hand over your arms,' he wrote in reply, 'Come and take them.' (trans. Frank Cole Babbitt, 1931)

The exchange is cited in a collection of sayings by Leonidas before the Battle of Thermopylae (51.2–15).

The main source for the events of the battle is Herodotus. According to his account, the Spartans held Thermopylae for three days, and although ultimately defeated, 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 tactical defeat, Thermopylae served as a strategic and moral victory, inspiring the Greek forces to defeat the Persians at the Battle of Salamis later the same year and the Battle of Plataea one year later.

Modern use
Modern use of 'ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ' as a military motto appears to originate in the Kingdom of Greece during the First World War or the Greco-Turkish War.[7] The motto is on the emblem of the I Army Corps of Greece and the Second Infantry Division of Cyprus (1940). The phrase was inscribed on the Thermopylae monument (1955), using an archaic script that would be appropriate for the time of the Persian Wars.[citation needed]

During the Cyprus Emergency between Greek Cypriot insurgents and British troops, Cypriot leader Grigoris Afxentiou on 3 March 1957 became surrounded by British forces outside his secret hideout near the Machairas Monastery near Lazanias, Nicosia.[8] The British troops requested that he surrender his arms, but Afxentiou shouted molon labe in reply. Unable to flush him out and sustaining several casualties, the British forces resorted to pouring gasoline into his hideout and lighting it.

In 2010 the metal band from Cyprus Arryan Path released the song Molon Lave "MOLON LAVE" about the battle of Thermopylae.

Molon Lave Records is the pioneering Heavy Metal Label from Greece, with rich activity in the field.

It was founded by George Osmak and Antonis Delaporta. One of the most important Greek companies that can be credited for shaping the "Greek sound" of black and death metal. The studio used for almost all their releases was also called Molon Lave which later became known as Storm Studios. The label also linked up with a record label called ''Go... Underground'' located in Athens, Greece. Molon Lave closed in 1995 due to George Osmak leaving for the United States.

Reactivated in 2013.

United States

"Come and take it" is a historic slogan, first used in 1778 at Fort Morris, Georgia during the American Revolution, and in 1835 at the Battle of Gonzales during the Texas Revolution.

American Revolutionary War
Sunbury, Georgia, is now a ghost town, even though in the past it was active as a port, located east of Hinesville, Georgia. Fort Morris was constructed in Sunbury by the authority of the Continental Congress. A contingent of British soldiers attempted to take the fort on November 25, 1778. The American contingent at Fort Morris was led by Colonel John McIntosh (c. 1748–1826). The Americans numbered only 127 Continental soldiers plus militiamen and local citizens. The fort itself was crudely constructed and could not have withstood any concerted attack.

The British commander, Colonel Fuser, demanded Fort Morris' surrender through a written note to the American rebels. Though clearly outnumbered (he had only about 200 men plus artillery), Colonel McIntosh's defiant written response to the British demand included the following line: "As to surrendering the fort, receive this laconic reply: COME AND TAKE IT!". The British declined to attack, in large part due to their lack of intelligence regarding other forces in the area. Colonel Fuser believed a recent skirmish in the area, combined with Colonel McIntosh's bravado, might have reflected reinforcements and so the British withdrew.

The British returned in January 1779 with a larger force. They later conquered and controlled nearly all of Georgia for the next few years. Colonel McIntosh's defiance inspired other American rebels as the Revolutionary War moved to the Carolinas and then north.

The Fort Morris Historical Marker is on Martin Road, Midway, Georgia. It is located at the visitor center for the Fort Morris Historic Site. The center is located off Fort Morris Road, at the end of the Colonels Island Highway (Georgia Route 38). The marker memorializes the battle and notes the "Come and Take It!" response.

In recognition of his valor in defending Fort Morris, McIntosh was awarded a sword by the Georgia Legislature with the words "Come and Take It" engraved on the blade.[4] McIntosh later served in the War of 1812 as an American General, still protecting the Georgia coast. He served honorably, receiving honors from the City of Savannah for his service.

Texas Revolution
In January of 1831, Green DeWitt wrote to Ramón Músquiz, the top political official of Bexar, and requested armament for defense of the colony of Gonzales. This request was granted by supplying a Spanish made six-pounder bronze cannon on the condition it be returned when asked for, the colony also having a much smaller cast iron cannon of around one pounder calibre. James Tumlinson, Jr. signed for receipt of the six-pounder cannon on March 10, 1831, in Bexar.

At the minor skirmish in 1835 known as the Battle of Gonzales—the first land battle of the Texas Revolution against Mexico—a small group of Texans successfully resisted the Mexican forces who had orders from Colonel Domingo de Ugartechea to seize the loaned cannon after the Texans had refused to return it when asked.

As a symbol of defiance, Caroline Zumwalt and Eveline DeWitt, young women from Gonzales, made a flag with the phrase "come and take it" (Spanish: Ven y tómalo) either printed above or below the cannon, or only below the cannon that they had been loaned four years earlier by Mexican officials. This was the same message that was sent to the Mexican government when they told the Texans to comply with the loan condition and return the cannon; the Texan refusal to do so led to the Mexican attempt to regain the cannon using military force.

The original flag was lost shortly after the battle. Conjectural replicas of the original flag can be seen in the Texas State Capitol, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Sam Houston State University CJ Center, the University of Texas at El Paso Library, the Marine Military Academy headquarters building, the Hockaday School Hoblitzelle Auditorium, and in Perkins Library at Duke University.
American Civil War
On October 12, 1864, during the Franklin–Nashville campaign, Confederate general J. B. Hood wrote to the Union commander at Resaca, Georgia, demanding an "immediate and unconditional surrender". That officer, Col. Clark R. Weaver, declined the request and concluded his letter of reply, "In my opinion, I can hold this post. If you want it, come and take it"

Adapted uses.
The first-known modified version, from the 1990s, replaces the cannon with an M16 rifle and was displayed at a Bill of Rights rally in Arizona following the announcement by President George H. W. Bush that certain types of firearms and firearms parts would be banned. It was shown at a number of later rallies and campaign events through the late 1990s, and now resides in a private collection.
\Μνημείο, Gonzales, Τέξας

In 2002, a version of the flag was created which depicted a Barrett .50 BMG Rifle. Other versions have depicted various firearms, and even other objects dear to the hearts of the flag makers. During the 2000 Stanley Cup Finals at least one Dallas Stars fan had created a replica of the flag with the Stanley Cup replacing the cannon; the Stars were the defending champions that year.

The well-known and globally popular Heavy Metal band Metallica, with tens of millions of records sold over the years of musical activity, in 2016 released a video related to the advertisement of its new record.

In this video, the band's singer and guitarist James Hetfield is depicted wearing a T-shirt that reads "JUST TAKE IT", accompanied by a Spartan helmet with the phrase translated into English underneath.
Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene wearing a "Molon Lavette" mask

Rock musician Ted Nugent recorded and released a track in 2021 entitled "Come and Take It" for his 2022 album Detroit Muscle. 

A few variations of the flag were created in 2023 and 2024 during the dispute between the State of Texas and the U.S. federal government regarding federal governmental overreach, lack of border enforcement, and failure to uphold current immigration laws. The flag design mimicked the Gonzales flag, except it had a black silhouette of concertina wire blazoned across the front, against white background. A variation of the slogan, "COME AND TAKE IT DOWN" was used. Other variations of this flag design included barbed wire instead of concertina wire, the original slogan, and "COME AND CUT IT."

Regarding the 2024 banning of Flipper Zero in Canada, security researcher Wesley McGrew responded to François-Philippe Champagne's, the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, tweet about the device with a “Come And Take It” meme spinning off the popular libertarian slogan.