News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 11, 2012

New Indiana auto plate marks state bicentennial


The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Bicentennial Commission leaders hope the state’s new standard auto license plates will help build interest in Indiana’s upcoming 200th anniversary of statehood. The new plate design unveiled Thursday has a blue image in the shape of Indiana with the number 200 printed across it. Nineteen stars surround the “200” to symbolize that Indiana’s the 19th state. The bicentennial plates will be distributed starting in late December when vehicle owners begin renewing registrations, state officials said. “Our reward is simply knowing and understanding that there are 2 million mini-billboards rolling around the state and promoting the bicentennial,” said Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman, commission chairwoman. She and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton, who’s assisting Skillman in leading the panel, said the plan with the plates is to increase awareness of the anniversary of Indiana’s 1816 statehood leading up to the celebration. “We can’t celebrate our statehood without the help of Hoosiers, and we hope this will draw chatter and enthusiasm around the state,” Hamilton said. The plates will replace the current standard ones that were introduced five years ago and feature the state flag’s torch and stars design on a blue background. Vehicle owners won’t have to pay extra for the bicentennial plates like they do with other specialty plates. And no plate fee money will go to the commission. The new plates also have “Bicentennial 1816-2016” printed at the bottom in small type. Skillman and Hamilton agree the line is a little difficult to read. “I think you get the message,” Skillman said, pointing to the “200.”