Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Licence plate to thrill

They don't mess around in the US state of New Hampshire.

While other states around America and the world adopt pithy little slogans to adorn their licence plates, New Hampshire keeps its real.  Really real.

Yes, that's right.  "Live Free or Die".

Now I'm no expert, but I'm confident the word "die" doesn't appear too often on licence plates around the world.

There also seems to be a range of decorative "Live Free or Die" options you can choose from if the moose option above doesn't pick your fancy.

You can also "Live Free or Die" with mountainside option 1
Or "Live Free or Die" with mountainside option 2

The words are actually the official motto of the state and comes from a speech written by a soldier during the American Revolutionary War.   Though apparently Vivre Libre ou Mourir ("Live free or die") was also a popular motto during the French Revolution, so the phrase may have its origin there.

Either way, it leaves the licence plate slogan of my home state Queensland, "The Sunshine State" (formerly "The Smart State" but we got dumb), in the shade.

Though just when I thought Queensland was being original, it seems this slogan is shared by another in the US.

And yes, now that you ask I have spent the past few days photographing licence plates.

I've been travelling from Boston to Montreal, travelling through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and finally Quebec.

In between remembering to get into the left-hand side of the car and drive on the right-hand side of the road, I've been keeping check of licence plate slogans.

Awww - that's nice
Worthy cause

Still working on it? 

How grand

I'm thinking Underwater World
"I believe the children are our future..."
But New Hampshire means what it says.

Here, you don't need to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike (or a shirt it seems as I watched a chubby and elderly man cruise down the highway).

And if you're over 18 you don't have to wear a seatbelt, but if you've got a car like mine then it will beep incessantly until you buckle up.

There's also road signs pointing you in the direction of the nearest liquor and lottery stores.  How handy for those who like to drink and drive with the prospect of hitting the jackpot!

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