Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Industry Approved License Plate—Can’t We All Just Have The Same Message On Our License Plates?

Here is an industry approved license plate I saw on my travels in Cincinnati and Kentucky last week.

Here are some basic facts about coal in Kentucky. 

I wish we could just go back to license plates that had a nice tourism related saying on them– or some type of state motto—that everybody can support.

I don’t like thoughts expressed on license plates that I agree with anymore than ideas I do not support. I would not buy a license plate calling for higher taxes on the rich.

We just need to know that Pennsylvania is the Keystone State and that Texas is the Lone Star State and that Rhode Island is the Ocean State.

If you want to purchase a vanity plate—That is your affair. People have been able to buy such license plates for many years.

But it is best that government endorse no political or specific cultural message of any kind on our  license plates.

If you want to “choose life” or proclaim that you support pet adoptions or that you are a graduate  of Louisiana State or wherever —Then get yourself a bumper sticker.

Must we be bombarded with messages all of the time? Can’t we have just a broad identity common to all on our license plates?

There are so many avenues by which we can express ourselves these days.  The blog you are reading is a way I express myself.

As for my license plate—I’m happy to be known as a citizen of the Lone Star State no matter where in the nation I may drive. I’m happy to share that identity with every Texan.

Here is some history of Texas license plates.

Here is a great website with photos of many American license plates over the years.

Here are photos of license plates of the world.

Below is a fine license plate. It tells us that Nevada is the Silver State. The color makes the plate all the better. A common message need not be drab. (Photo by Stripey the Crab)

There should at least be some forum where we share a common identity. Just because we have the same message on our license plates, does not mean there are not plenty of other issues over which we can disagree and argue.

September 12, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,


  1. Yes, coal keeps the lights on in the medical facilities where many are treated with coal related diseases. They keep the lights on in the mortuaries and the rooms of bed-ridden victims whose ability to breathe normally has taken away that normal lifestyle.

    We may have lights from coal but we have destroyed the habitat where they extract it from the earth and by those who risk danger every time they enter their “work place”.

    The water the locals drink is most likely contaminated with the carcinogenic contaminants that leach from coal’s waste product into local streams and under ground water supplies.

    Be proud you live in a state that gives you a job related to the early health issues you will contract, not to mention those who will ultimately die from it.

    Comment by lbwoodgate | September 12, 2011

  2. Yeah, mineral extraction shouldn’t be enshrined in official state symbols at the behest of industry interests. We should be more like Nevada, the Silver State! Hey, wait a second…

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | September 13, 2011

  3. ibwood–Nothing I can add.

    Matt—You miss my respect for the individual states. If Kentucky had long been known as the coal state that would be fine. Nevada’s diegination of the Silver State goes way back and is part of the political history of Nevada. I would have no problem with promoting potatoes if I lived in Idaho. What I don’t like is the identity of a state on sale for the highest bidder.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 13, 2011

  4. I appreciate your position, and I think there’s something to be said against the fragmentation of something like license plates.

    But it’s wrong to say the “identity of a state [is] on sale for the highest bidder.” That suggests that everyone has to have a coal plate, because the coal folks won. That’s not at all what’s going on. Anyone who orders a stock license plate will get the standard model, with that dumb-looking smiley-face sun on it.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | September 14, 2011

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