Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alberta: Stuck in a Rut

The Alberta government is currently developing a new license plate that is set to be releases in 2009. I have been following this story ever since I found out about it and participated in the survey for the new plate. I was asked what images, if any, I would like to see, what colours etc. I was very clear that the only images I didn't want to see on the plate was oil rigs or cowboys. We'll see if I get my way.

Slogans were another issue on the survey. Currently it is "Wild Rose Country" which I have to admit, is a little lame. The front runner right now is "Strong and Free". If that's the slogan I think I might just have to remove my vehicle from the road in protest. I hate that slogan! First of all, it doesn't make any sense. Strong? How? How are we stronger or weaker than any other province? Free? That's the really annoying part. Free from what exactly. We live in a democratic nation - we are all free. It smacks of the Alberta separation movement and sounds a bit American. "Strong and free" are words found in their national anthem, on many license plates and in the Declaration of Independence. Surely we could come up with something a little less inflammatory...a median must exist between a wimpy pink flower and a manifesto.


Anonymous said...

Dude, Strong and Free is from Canada's national anthem. After the "True North" part. The American bit you're thinking of is "Land of the Free (and home of the brave)." Not to disagree with the thesis; just wanted to make sure you got your facts right.

Eileen said...

Erm, 'Strong and Free' is a tad conceited. Is the Albertan Registration Movement attempting to suggest that the rest of the provinces aren't free, that the rest of the provinces are weak?

While Alberta is experiencing a growing economy and is, no doubt, 'free', to imply that it alone champions a fundamental right and a Samsonesque characteristic, shrieks of self importance.

A rethink is on the cards

Chris O said...

When I read "strong and free," I thought it sounded very American too, despite it being part of our anthem. Personally, I like wild rose country. If they change the slogan to something else, will Wildrose Forum follow suit?

I wouldn't be surprised if the new plate featured both oilrigs and cowboy hats. Maybe an oilrig shooting up a plume of black gold, with a cowboy hat seated on top of it all, taking the ride.

Because you know, something with the Rockies would be too easy and pretty.

linda said...

Actually "strong" isn't in the U.S. Declaration of Independence either, although it does have "free and independent" not to mention a reliance on "divine Providence."

Also, did you know this: most of the U.S. states that get creative with their license plates do environmental things, often where for an extra $15 or something you get a plate with some slogan about saving the Earth and the extra money goes toward doing that. I'm sure it's a higher fee in some states. I haven't had a car for a few years and am not sure off the top of my head.

Also for example in Arizona you can pay the extra fee to go toward an organization helping abused children and the license plate says, "It shouldn't hurt to be a child."

I can't think of any state that has "strong" but New Hampshire famously has "Live free or die," which I love. Sometimes it's something more mundane, like Utah has "Greatest Snow on Earth."