"Molon Labe." It's a Greek phrase well-known to Army folk. It means "come and take it," and it's what King Leonidas supposedly told Xerxes before the Battle of Sparta. The slogan, which was used during the Texas Revolution, is also popular among Second Amendment activists today.
Military members, separatists, and gun nuts. What do these people have in common? Many of them probably watch Fox News, where former U.S. Rep. Allen West commentates. And as of yesterday, the Palm Beach Gardens resident will have something up his sleeve other than Tea Party rhetoric. He got the conservative motto permanently etched on his forearm yesterday at Ace's High Tattoo in West Palm.
"I said to take a pic with him," says John Wylie, the shop's owner. "I expected people to talk shit, but we do it with anybody who comes in that's notable."
West has mentioned the Battle of Thermopylae before. Last year, he compared the battle against Obamacare to the fight featured in the movie 300 and referenced in the cult classic The Warriors.Wylie says comments on Instagram were mixed, with some people railing against the conservative politician and others saying, "He's awesome." Many, though, seem to be in support of the politician getting some conservative ink. "No fucking way he got molon labe?!" wrote one commenter. "YES THERE'S HOPE."
West reportedly came into Ace's High with a printed-out picture and no one in the shop knew what it meant. Wylie, the owner, was not there at the time but was told by his employees that the former adviser to the National Afghan Army was "very nice."
Soldiers have testified that when West served in Iraq, he fired a gun near the head of an Iraqi police officer as an intimidation tactic. He was charged with assault in military court, was fined $5,000, and is not considered a war criminal. When asked if he would have acted differently, he testified, "If it's about the lives of my soldiers at stake, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can."
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!