You know that tiny little “Heart of Dixie” emblem on your car’s license plate? A 61-year-old state law requires it to be there. But state Rep. Joe Hubbard, a Montgomery Democrat, wants to change that. He wants to replace “Heart of Dixie” with a new nickname: “State of Champions.”
“When folks in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other states think about relocating their businesses to Alabama, I want them to think of us as the State of Champions, and not wonder what ‘Heart of Dixie’ means,” Hubbard said, according to Left in Alabama. “As they move their businesses here and become Alabamians, they’ll learn to love us as the Heart of Dixie.”
According to Hubbard, people from out of state don’t know what to think when they see “Heart of Dixie” on a license plate. “And our license plates, which are the best free advertising our State has, don’t have enough room for a post-script to explain what we mean when we call ourselves ‘Heart of Dixie,’” Hubbard said. Hubbard’s new motto, “State of Champions,” would use that free advertising to tell people about Charles Barkley and Hank Aaron and all of Alabama’s strengths, Hubbard argued.
According to the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the Alabama Chamber of Commerce pushed to include “Heart of Dixie” on license plates in the 1940s and 1950s. ”Alabama is geographically the Heart of Dixie, Alabama is industrially the Heart of Dixie, Alabama is, in fact, the Heart of Dixie,” the Chamber argued. The Chamber’s efforts led to a state law being passed in 1951 and “Heart of Dixie” appearing on license plates four years later.
Head over to Left in Alabama to read more. And don’t forget to take our poll and/or read the text of Hubbard’s bill below.