vanity plates
A sample of the Original State Flag vanity plate bears the state motto, Labor Omnia Vincent. (Provided)

Three vanity license plates authorized by the Oklahoma Legislature in 2015 have received zero orders with only four days before their production deadline.

Plates intended to honor the Lupus Foundation, Star Spencer High School and the Oklahoma Association of Police Chiefs need 100 orders each to quality for creation by May 1, but none have been received so far, according to an official with the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

“If we do not have 100 prepaid applications for a given plate postmarked or received by April 30, that plate will not be produced and the applicants will get refunds,” said Crystal Raymond, spokesperson with the OTC.

Every year, the legislature considers new vanity plates. In 2015, HB 3201 was the annual omnibus license plate bill. As the May 1 deadline approaches, only one of the 10 new authorized plates is on track to be stamped.

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With 111 orders so far, the Original State Flag plate leads the pack of Oklahoma’s new batch of proposed vanity plates.

The throwback plate is a vehicular reminder of the state’s original flag. Oklahoma was the 46th state admitted to the union.

“The Original State Flag has made its minimum, so that plate will go into production,” Raymond said. “We have placed the first order for those plates with the tag-manufacturing plant, and the applicants for that plate should receive their plates by the end of July.”

But the other contenders for new-plate status are in jeopardy of not meeting the requirement for production. Their orders to date, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission, are:

  • Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (25)
  • Remembering Fallen Heroes (10)
  • Childhood Cancer Awareness (7)
  • 911 Dispatchers (3)
  • Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (1)
  • Lupus Foundation (0)
  • Star Spencer High School (0)
  • Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police (0)

Several of the plates did not submit a sample design for display on the OTC website.

‘Work Conquers All’

The Original State Flag plate is the brainchild of voter-participation advocate David Glover, who runs a voting database called Bad Voter. The plate has been a project for Glover for two years.

“The rationale was that I just thought it was a great-looking flag. I didn’t understand why they got rid of the flag originally. It pays homage to the roots of Oklahoma populism and how the state started, what its Constitution was originally and how it recognized working people. It’s nice to have that historical value,” he said.

The original flag was abandoned by the state in the 1920s. Legislators saw it as too similar to the flag of the communist Soviet Union.

Around the same time, the Legislature passed a law making it illegal to fly a red flag in the state. That law is still on the books. The Latin motto Labor Omnia Vincit translates to Work Conquers All and is the state’s official motto.

“It’s not bad that it’s red flag, which means that there’s a problem. In my book, a $1.3 billion deficit is a problem. The plate has a nice representation of that,” said Glover.

“When I started thinking about the tagline at the bottom of the plate, the state motto came to mind. It was determined before statehood. ‘Work Conquers All,’ I thought, would be nice to put in there also to have it be a plate that looks good,” he said.