The fascinating free speech history of American license plates

Originally published at: The fascinating free speech history of American license plates | Boing Boing


“And so if you don’t want to live free or die, you go to jail in New Hampshire,”

new hampshire is the only state i’ve ever been stopped by the police for hitchhiking in.


And no mention of the awesome polar bear license plates from the Northwest Territories?

wikipedia / wiki / File:1986_Northwest_Territories_license_plate_331758.jpg

1 Like

And North Carolina started a whole new “War Between States” with our license motto of “First in Flight” because of course even though the Wright brothers were from Ohio, they didn’t fly their machine successfully until they took their experiment to North Carolina.

Things would have gotten weird if the Supremes had kept Texas from rejecting the confederate flag plate. Satanic pentagram plate? Swastica plate?

I totally forgot about how license plates in the USA have evolved over time. As an expat living in Europe, I have gotten so used to the long plates with little variance that seeing plates in North American form factor is jarring. I sometimes wonder how they can be read. Germany for example has even gone so far as to make a new font for their plates in the 1990s, designed to deter quick fakery (using tape to, say, change a 3 to an 8 used to be a thing) yet still be readable on speed cameras.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.