Kansas to Revamp 2024 License Plate Design After Public Outcry

Estimated read time 4 min read

In a surprising turn of events, Kansas has decided to go back to the drawing board for its planned 2024 license plate design due to widespread criticism from the public. The controversy stemmed from the belief that the proposed design failed to adequately represent the state of Kansas and bore an unfortunate resemblance to other states’ license plates, including neighboring Missouri. The outrage prompted Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to acknowledge the concerns and make changes to the design selection process.

A Color Controversy

One of the major points of contention surrounding the proposed license plate design was its color scheme. The background featured a wheat-yellow hue with black and dark blue text. Critics argued that these colors closely resembled those of the University of Missouri, a rival institution to the University of Kansas. Brianna Johnson, a spokesperson for the governor, clarified that while the colors used on the license plate were navy and yellow with black digits, they were not intended to mimic the University of Missouri’s colors. Nevertheless, on social media platforms, the similarities were undeniable.

Public Outcry on Social Media

The backlash against the license plate design was most prominently expressed on social media, particularly on Governor Laura Kelly’s Facebook post unveiling the design. Many Kansans expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of originality and the perception that the plate resembled other states’ designs.

One Facebook user commented, “Please give us Kansans the opportunity to choose from a few designs that are unique & reflect our Kansas pride. Why would any of us want Mizzou’s colors on our plates? This design is very uninspired, IMO. I’d be embarrassed to display this design on my car. It just doesn’t cut the mustard (pun intended!)”

Another user compared the design to New York’s license plate, while others pointed out similarities between the Kansas design and some Texas plates. One person wrote, “New York knockoff, Mizzou colors. Texas stars. Couldn’t be much worse. Please don’t force this on the taxpayers. Get some public and professional design input and try again.”

A Response from State Officials

In response to the public outcry, the Kansas Department of Revenue decided to halt production on the license plates and initiate a process to gather public input before finalizing a design. This move was welcomed by many Kansans who felt their voices were heard.

Governor Laura Kelly stated, “We wanted to be responsive to Kansans’ concerns, which is why we’re now adjusting the process.” By Tuesday evening, some social media users were already sharing alternative plate designs in the comment section under the governor’s announcement of the change.

The Original Vision

The original license plate design was intended to pay tribute to the state motto, “ad astra per aspera,” a Latin phrase meaning “through adversity to the stars.” Beneath the plate number, the words “to the stars” appeared in italics. Governor Kelly described it as a reminder that there are endless possibilities and that Kansans should always strive for greatness.

A Bipartisan Agreement

The controversy over the license plate design even managed to unite residents from across the political spectrum. Governor Kelly humorously remarked, “I promised to be a bipartisan governor, and I think we can all admit – I succeeded at bringing Kansans across the political aisle together in disliking this new license plate.”

What’s Next?

The governor’s office plans to announce more details about the next steps in the license plate design selection process, including options for designs and the voting procedure. Kansans will have the opportunity to voice their preferences, ensuring that the final license plate design truly represents the state and its residents.

The state of Kansas has listened to its citizens and decided to reevaluate the design of the 2024 license plate due to widespread dissatisfaction. This move demonstrates the importance of public input and reflects a commitment to representing the state’s identity accurately on its license plates.

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