By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
July 2, 2019
North Carolinians who, for years, have chosen between the declarations “First in Flight” or “First in Freedom” on their standard-issue license plates can now declare “In God We Trust.”
The new plates became available July 1.
“I am so thankful for these plates. I think every patriotic Christian should consider purchasing one, unless they’re already displaying the ‘Choose Life’ specialty plate,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina.
“I think the ‘In God We Trust’ specialty plates speak of the incredible resilience and strength of the American people. The plates speak of a character based in morals taken squarely from Judeo-Christian values and forged on the anvil of a faith in Almighty God.”
Creech went on to say that our nation’s motto “repudiates atheism, socialism, and all the other ‘-isms,” embraced and touted by those who hope in themselves or in government and not the only thing that can save and preserve a nation – God!”
In addition to the national motto, which appears at the top of the license plate with a screened flag background, the tag also includes the English translation of the state motto: “To Be Rather Than to Seem.” Adopted by the Legislature in 1893, its Latin version, “Esse Quam Videri,” appears on the state seal.
The national/state motto license plates were discussed by lawmakers last summer when former Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham) floated a bill to add the plate as a standard option for vehicle-owners. He said drivers had seen similar plates from neighboring states such as Tennessee and wanted one in North Carolina. Although his bill stalled, language establishing the new plates was included in the state budget, which was approved in June 2018.
After serving District 65 for eight years, Jones did not run for re-election last year.
Even before he pushed for the new legislation, Tar Heel drivers could purchase an In God We Trust specialty plate, but had to pay $60, with a portion of the fee going to the N.C. National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund. That tag, authorized by lawmakers in 2004, was a way to show support for U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. It initially featured a yellow ribbon, but now sports a bald eagle. It does not include the state motto.
The director of the National Guard fund told the media he is not worried that the new standard-issue tag will hurt sales of the specialty plate. Instead, he’s glad to see people having more options.
The Christian Action League played a role in getting the legislation passed for both plates. Rev. Creech promoted the plates for the Soldiers and Airmen’s Assistance Fund and helped secure enough applications (300) to launch the plate.
Read Related Story: Former NC Legislator Receives ‘US Army Meritorious Award’ and Graciously Shares Limelight with Rev. Creech
Vehicle owners can choose the new national/state mottos tag for no additional cost when they renew their vehicle registration. If they want to change tags in the meantime, it will cost $20. For details, visit www.ncdot/gov/dmv.
The original plate had the words, ‘In God We Trust’ and a yellow ribbon with the message, “Support our Troops.”
The ‘In God We Trust’ plate was later improved including an American flag and a Bald Eagle.