The 14-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot by a Taliban gunman was named after a young woman who is a folk heroine to her people for rallying an army to defeat the British in a 19th century battle. Known as Malalai, and celebrated in poetry, the girl picked up her country’s flag as the fight was being lost and rallied the troops to victory. She died holding the banner but lives on as an inspiration. Today, as a direct descendant of the tradition, Malala Yousafzai has sparked worldwide admiration for leading a battle against the Taliban’s unforgiving backwardness. At almost the cost of her life, she has also sparked broad social revulsion for the murderous zealots.