CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Since West Virginia hasn't changed the basic design of its standard license plate in 17 years, it may be time to start keeping up with the Joneses, or the Kasichs, or whatever our neighbors to the north are calling themselves these days.
Ohio recently redesigned its standard license plate, and a new edition will begin appearing on slow-moving southbound cars winding their way through the Mountain State sometime early next year.
I like the new plate's simple design -- sort of a wing cross-section in solid red swooping across the top of the license with "Ohio" spelled out in white letters inside it. Blue letters are used for the plate's identifying numbers and letters, retaining the state's all-American color scheme.
What I don't particularly care for is the number of state slogans and mottoes that will appear in light gray lettering in the background behind the numbers.
If our plates get a makeover, I'm OK with keeping the "Wild, Wonderful" slogan that has appeared on them since 1995. Ohioans, on the other hand, must have really been fed up with "America's Heartland," "Birthplace of Aviation," "Seat Belts Fastened?" or all the other ho-hum slogans that have graced their plates over the years.
When it comes to official license plate mottoes, Ohio marches to the beat of a different drummer -- or in its case, 46 different drummers. That's the number of mottoes, slogans, points of interest, factoids, historical figures and names of geographic landmarks that will appear in the crowded background of the new tags.
After asking drivers to make motto suggestions on the Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles website, transportation officials apparently decided to keep all of them, and maybe added a few of their own.