What does 'Molon Labe' on Marjorie Taylor Greene's mask mean? Internet labels Georgia Rep 'seditious'

Greene is one of the many Republicans, who were seen refusing to wear masks, while sheltering with other members of Congress during the Capitol riots

                            What does 'Molon Labe' on Marjorie Taylor Greene's mask mean? Internet labels Georgia Rep 'seditious'
Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) (Getty Images)

The House of Representatives went back to the Capitol building on Tuesday, January 12, to vote on House Democrats' resolution to call for Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump from office. Among them was Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has come under criticism for refusing to wear a mask along with other Republicans while members of the US Congress were sheltering together during the Capitol riots last week. This time, Greene was wearing a mask, however, the words embroidered onto the mask have raised public ire again. The mask reads "Molon Labe," a Greek classical expression of defiance, and one that is favored by far-right groups and gun rights activists.

Greene, Markwayne Mullin, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, and Michael Cloud, were all seen in a video from the incident not wearing masks, and they turned down the disposable masks offered by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) who went around the packed room passing out masks to people without them, to prevent the spread of Covid-19. In the aftermath of the riots, three Democrats have tested positive for Covid-19, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Chuck Fleischmann.

Greene responded to the accusations saying that Pelosi instead has to be blamed for spreading COVID-19 for calling the members back for votes as the House moves to impeach Trump. Greene tweeted, "Before you point fingers at me or anyone else, you need to talk directly to @SpeakerPelosi about exposing ALL of us to covid when she called back POSITIVE covid House members last week for votes for Speaker!"


When 11 Alive News reached out to Greene, she said in an emailed statement," Healthy people do not spread COVID. COVID positive people spread COVID. Everyone was exposed ALL week by the COVID positive members who Nancy Pelosi brought into the Capitol and into Washington DC." She continued, "It is absolutely ridiculous and insane to blame those of us who did not have COVID or symptoms. The blame lies squarely on Nancy Pelosi and the positive COVID members bringing COVID in the Capitol! It’s absurd to say they caught it during the safe room."

However, it is important to note that the CDC has been warning for months that asymptomatic people can spread COVID-19 unknowingly.

On Tuesday, when Greene showed up to the Capitol building, she wore a mask that said, "Molon Labe," in big, bold, red letters. She also tweeted a photo of her wearing a mask, writing, "I don't think the Fake News Media likes my mask." 


Many responded in the negative to the representative, with one user calling her "seditious." Another user tweeted, "@mtgreenee Are you THAT desperate to be noticed? We noticed that you laughed at the idea of wearing a mask & caused @RepBonnie Watson Coleman, who has cancer, to contract Covid-19. You are the lowest. PRAY that woman stays alive, sister. She has video of your negligence." A user wrote, "Ahhh yes... this must be the “peace” “unity” and “coming together” Republicans have been preaching since Wednesday. I’m sure stuff like this doesn’t fuel what we saw last Wednesday."




What does "Molon Labe" mean?

Molon Labe (or ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ) is a classical Greek phrase meaning "come and take [them]" and is attributed to King Leonidas of Sparta who was reported by Plutarch as having said the defiant phrase to  Xerxes I's demand that the Spartans surrender their weapon. The phrase has been used in the United States since the 1800s, having been used in the 1830s during the Texas Revolution and became a prominent slogan.

In the present, the slogan has been adopted by far-right groups and gun-rights activists adopted the phrase as a challenge to perceived attempts by the government to confiscate firearms. The Trace reported that t-shirts, bumper stickers, and other merchandise featuring the phrase are available online.

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