"First in Flight" has been this state's standard license plate since 1982. It replaced a controversial slogan and came from a different era, when it was okay to clown on the Wright Brothers.
I’m aggravated that the only way to get something different is to pay a lot of extra money for it. So many states have really beautiful license tags or as one person noted, a simple Virginia or Tennessee (which has an outline of the state around the name). Why do old white men in Raleigh get to make all the decisions? We certainly wouldn’t have voted them in if they hadn’t gerrymandered so much!
I can’t easily verify this, but my fading memory seems to recall that the late North Carolina labor leader Wilbur Hobby raised a stink and got into a little trouble with the N.C. DMV by adding “LAST IN WAGES” to his “FIRST IN FREEDOM” tag. Can anyone else elaborate? Or did I just dream that up?
Some clown from Virginia suggested that "First in Flight" was a reference to how North Carolina soldiers fought in the Revolutionary War.
Amazing post (as always, but license plates are a particular interest of mine lol). Confirms my personal suspicion that anyone choosing "First in Freedom" is suss.
Jeremy, I'm sure you're familiar with the new Venus Flytrap plates. What you might not be aware of are the very funny updates from the State Botanical Garden during the approval process. They submitted the required number of plate pre-orders in March 2020, and there are some great updates to the clamoring flytrap-heads immediately after that apologizing because uh... the state government was pretty occupied with other business https://ncbg.unc.edu/support/venus-flytrap-license-plate/
As a member of ALPCA (automobile license place collectors association) I found this article very informative and interesting! You did a great job researching. I’ve been thinking for some time the First in Flight plate needs to be replaced and/ or updated. Appreciate the hard work, Jeremy!
I totally thought only residents of Dare county could get OBX plates. I figured it set apart residents from tourists. Thanks for the insight!
It's odd that we assume that a slogan needs to go on there at all. In Virginia, the license plates just say "VIRGINIA" and then the plate number. While there are hundreds of specialized plates in NC, I don't think any of them are that simple and elegant.
The first flight of a powered heavier than air craft was the beginning of Coast Guard Aviation! Thank the Lifesaving Service.
Just wanted to say I love the NC State Fair scavenger hunt. Looking forward to doing that with my kids when we go to the fair this year.
I feel like "Nothing Compares" was being soft launched into eventually going on there but never got to that point for whatever reason, you don't see it much now either.
I love, love, love the FIRST IN FLIGHT license plates. Are all new plates still embossed? The flat plate era and red number era are more like errors.
I'd heard the FIRST IN FREEDOM plates were done away with because NC was like the 12th state to ratify the constitution, so I appreciate this history.
Someone tried to get me to believe that the NC on early road signs, like the one on the license plates, is like the UNC athletic logo which to me is completely different because of the curved legs of the 'N'. Upon this hill, I will die.
I've had an idea for an NC license plate for a while now, and this post inspired me to mock it up. It's here on Imgur: https://imgur.com/a/olyuYMY
It's just the "N * C" from the state flag slightly re-arranged, and aggressively cropped and zoomed as the background of the plate, with the license number superimposed in red. The default would have the "N * C" in the flag colors, but you could make it available in all sorts of colorways (for a slight upcharge) for people who want, say Carolina Blue, State Red, Panther Teal, or just want to match their car.
1978 state spokeswoman: "we're not owned! we're not owned!!", she continues to insist as she slowly shrinks and transforms into a corncob.
Did you forget the GTP plates?