Freedom or Death

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Eleftheria i thanatos (Greek Ελευθερία ή θάνατος -- freedom or death) is the motto of the Hellenic Republic. It arose during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s, where it was a war cry for the Greeks who rebelled against Ottoman rule. It was adopted after the War of Independence. It is still in use today, and is symbolically evoked by the use of 9 stripes (for the nine syllables of the motto) in the Greek flag.

The motto symbolized and still symbolizes the resolve of the people of Greece against Tyranny and oppression.

Similar mottos


  • "Слобода или смрт" - "Sloboda ili Smrt" - "Freedom or Death" is the national motto of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and is derived from the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising.
  • "Libertad o Muerte" - "Liberty or Death" is the national motto of Uruguay


  • "Live Free or Die" is the official motto of the State of New Hampshire, USA, adopted by the General Court in 1945.

Militia uses

  • The Armenian Fedayee used the phrase, "Azadoutioun gam mah", which translates to the same meaning.

Used elsewhere

  • Freedom or Death is a short agitational/propaganda piece written in the first weeks of the Soviet Great Patriotic War by prolific writer Ilya Ehrenburg [1].
  • An acclaimed nineteenth-century painting by Thomas S. Noble [2].