Vanity Plates, Vanity Hate

I tend to believe that vanity is one of the most prominent qualities of the modern American consumer. Supporting my theory is the fact that over 9.3 million Americans possess vanity license plates for their motor vehicles. Ironically, as a vanity plate owner myself (behind which—in my defense—lies volidity, not vanity), I also possess a car registered in the state with the most vanity plates per capita, Virginia. In 2007, 16.2% of Virginia drivers had vanity plates, which is a statistic I can't easily explain. Perhaps it is just a means of self-expression particular to the Old Dominion, a place with a penchant for bold public declarations since revolutionary times? Or maybe that the workers in "Communist Country" (i.e. Northern Virginia) are eager to spread socialist propaganda on the road, as Leon Trotsky once did in his armored train during the Russian Civil War?

It could just be that the Virginia DMV maintains a lovely little website where potential ideas for text can be tested against various choices of background. With the knowledge that profanity would not be allowed and that many ideas were taken I began browsing through the available license plate designs to get some inspiration. Just take a gander at my two most dark and volid ideas, that I couldn't resist trying out after encountering these plate designs:

Well, "SECeSSioN" is what he ended up (and is remembered for) supporting...

Sure this is offensive, but so to many is the very idea of a Confederate Battle Flag on one's official license plate, so you might as well go for the gold.

And, in case anyone was wondering, each plate idea was met with a "Congratulations. The message you requested is available" from the VA DMV. With that in mind, maybe we could all be a little less vain and accept whatever number-letter combinations we're assigned next time, on plain designs indicating our home state and nothing more...

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