Unusual state-map design for this well-used municipal license plate. Most plates from this era are type only, although others bore such images as teapots (Edenton), bears (New Bern) and fish (Grifton).
In 2017 East Carolina University formalized its familiar diminutive.
During the greater part of the 20th century, municipalities in North Carolina were empowered to collect their own vehicle taxes — and to issue license plates. Local officials often saw this as an opportunity to add a unique self-promotional slogan.
If you’re advertising Apex, nobody’s likely to beat you to the title of “Peak of Good Living.” Or beat Benson to “Annual Sing-Mule Day,” Manteo to “Home of the Lost Colony,” Havelock to “Gateway to Cherry Point” or Love Valley to “Cowboy Capital.”
If, however, you’re claiming bragging rights to “Friendly People,” better expect some competition.
As early as 1913, North Carolina municipalities were empowered to collect local taxes by issuing license plates. The most recent I’ve seen: Blowing Rock 2010.
Most only named the town, but some took the opportunity to self-promote. Take that, Wilson and Tarboro and Rocky Mount!
— “Ruth’s hit carried at least 600 feet… certainly a record that will stand for all time in Winston-Salem.”
— Amnesia? A faked death? Or what?
— “A preservationist by nature” from Durham blows his Maine chance.
— Scavenged from Monitor repair job — and turned into a doll cradle!
— So what comes after ZZZ?