The 11th letter of the Greek alphabet, "lambda" ("λ") represents "liberation". The lambda was selected as a symbol by the Gay Activists Alliance of New York in 1970, and declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1974. It signifies unity under oppression, and also is associated with the Spartans because they were also known as the Lacedaemonians. The Spartan tradition of military heroism has often been explained in light of strong emotional bonds resulting from homosexual relationships.