Streaks

Sometimes states pick an image or slogan and stick to it…for decades. Herewith some long-running elements, as well as base plates in it for the long haul.

In New Mexico, 1927 saw the debut of the “Zia,” a sun symbol of Native American origin, while “Land of Enchantment” came along in 1941. Both have appeared on every New Mexico base since their respective introductions.

NM ^29^ 1640NM-AZF 574NM-DBR 167NM-LFJ 869NM-BB 783NM-486 MPFNM-LPF 940

“Vacationland” has highlighted every Maine base plate since 1936.

ME-142-043ME-641-660ME-4811 BVME-9226 MP

The “Bucking Bronco” with rider has appeared on every Wyoming base from 1936 to present. From 1957 to 1974, the plate only changed colors with the abbreviated state name on top in odd years and on the bottom in even years.

WY-8 411WY-20 3650WY-18 2061WY-13 1404WY-2 AE122WY-1 1706WY-4 697AZWY-5 8 AFWY-3 8436WY-22 2019WY 22 34110WY ^22^ 12218

“Grand Canyon State” has been on every Arizona base since 1940.

AZ-ECF-954AZ-JRS-823AZ PFW-669 (P2)AZ-LBG 958AZ from archives

Wisconsin has advertised itself as “America’s Dairyland” continuously on its plates since 1940.

WI-P33-062WI-B18-367WI-N44-149WI-SW 1504WI-ERF-107WI-274-EGU

Every year since 1950, “10,000 Lakes” (all caps or all lowercase) has appeared on Minnesota bases.

MN MKR 606MN-21-227MN-430 BRRMN-803 DVG

Some form of a Mt. Rushmore graphic has graced every South Dakota base since 1952.

SD 32-2293SD-5-17164SD-MP 3498 (2)SD-AAG 004SD-2DN 252SD-67 M923SD-6BJ 162SD 1E8 925

The “Land of Lincoln” debuted its slogan on the Illinois 1954 base, upper left; it has remained ever since. Until the 1979 base, the state name and slogan switched alternated top/bottom placement every year except for ’76.

IL-1045 262IL-206 314IL AY 7799IL-928 055IL-FGP 715IL-361 3452

A small heart and the words “Heart of Dixie” have appeared in some combination on every Alabama base plate since 1955, though in the most recent base it’s hardly visible.

AL-3-34812AL-80-9610AL EAZ 032AL 2BD3370AL 58B268NAL 2A39K61AL 2AA4542

The 1956 North Dakota plate introduced “Peace Garden State,” which has appeared on every base since.

ND-73-180ND-106-751ND-ANC 163ND-KE602ND-BST 726ND HTW 446

This Delaware base has been the only regular issue since 1970 (with slight variations in the shade of teal, not necessarily by year).

DE-284765DE 734972

In 1970, New Hampshire vanities used the “Live Free or Die” slogan; the following year it became state law for it to appear on all non-commercial plates.

NH-mi 24NH-ABV-457NH-138 4667

The 1971 Rhode Island base, below left, brought about the long-standing “Ocean State” slogan.

RI-BK-992RI-HC-459 (2)RI-AI-498

The North Carolina 1982 base is still going strong; it had a brief redesign when it assumed a red serial for about a two-year period but after complaints from law enforcement (one collector told me they just saw “a sea of red”) it went back to blue.

NC AWS-8283NC KWL-8341NC-WXK-4972NC AKN-3464

Vermont introduced this base in 1985 and hasn’t yet modified or replaced it.

VT-EBD 514