The Wildflower State

Texas license plates currently display the slogan "The Lone Star State." But before that became the license plate motto, state residents had to fight off a number of attempts to display slogans that weren't quite as manly.

In 1985, Texas highway commissioners voted to display "The Wildflower State" on Texas tags. The phrase would have been printed over a faint outline of a bluebonnet. The idea prompted 57 state lawmakers to sign a letter of protest. Critics complained that the slogan "dealt a blow to the Texas mystique." So the commissioners backed down.

Then, in 1989, the commissioners wanted to display "The Friendship State" on plates. After all, the state motto is "Friendship." But again, popular protests complained that the phrase was "too wimpy."

It was only in 1992 that the commissioners finally gave in to popular demands and started printing "The Lone Star State" on plates.

If you're interested in the history of Texas license plates, Wikipedia has a list of their design by year.

Longview News Journal - July 26, 1985

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 23, 2017
     Category: Government | Motor Vehicles

Even though I'm partial to the Golden Poppy of my home state of California, I admire a field of bluebonnets in full bloom when I make my way to Dallas from my home here in Oklahoma.

Alex, the illustration you used of a Texas plate looks very much like the current one being issued. The previous plate design was very busy what with a cactus and a space shuttle and a cowboy and a and ...

I only notice because many Texas plates make their appearance here in southern Oklahoma as people pass through.
Posted by KDP on 06/23/17 at 04:19 PM
Friendship State is too wimpy? I think it's just accurate... my understanding is that as far as anyone knows Texas is derived from Tejas which was derived from a local word for 'friends.' No?
Posted by Chris Randolph on 06/23/17 at 10:51 PM
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