If you thought that the 2009 Tea Party revivalists who wore tricorn hats and waved Gadsden flags to protest their government and the Middle Ages revivalists who gather in public parks and wave swords and shields at each other have nothing in common, think again.
Both groups of proud Missourians have their own specialty license plates. They are not alone.
There are 143 different versions of specialty license plates in Missouri, including one that celebrates a new athletic rival of the University of Missouri Tigers in the Southeastern Conference. Yes, you can get a University of Arkansas Razorbacks “Go Hogs” license plate in Missouri.
You cannot get a Mizzou Tigers license plate in Arkansas.
The Middle Ages sword-fighting reenactors can sport a plate celebrating the Kingdom of Calontir, which, for the uninitiated, is a five-state regional chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism. (We have paperwork to prove it).
When the Republican leaders of the Missouri House announced their “Blueprint for Missouri” jobs plan before the legislative session, they failed to mention that key to the plan was printing more license plates.
In the first seven weeks of the session, the House has passed 22 bills. Of those, the largest single category, by far, are bills related to license plates. So far, the House has passed four license plate bills, and there are more on the way.
Of particular note is the bill creating the “Don’t Tread on Me” plate. Last year, lawmakers sought to honor Tea Party activists by creating a government-sanctioned emblem to help the protesters carry on their anti-government message.
The vehicle, so to speak, was a “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate, allowing anti-government protesters to add the freedom-loving slogan to their cars or trucks. Thanks, uh, government.
Lawmakers didn’t tread firmly enough, though.
This year, Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger, R-Lake Saint Louis, is