Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 18, 2014

TOM JEKEL: Indiana's new tourism slogan an improvement over past?

Admit it: It's better than 'Restart Your Engines' of 2006.

(Continued)

“You could use a little Indiana:” That one was popular among out-of-state basketball teams looking to improve their position in the Big Ten football standings.

“Enjoy Indiana; the welcome mat is always out:” But we kept shuffling our dirty boots on it.

“Travel Indiana:” If you’re taking the northern east-west interstate, that one will take a toll on you.

One of the factors that confuses things for the “Indiana” brand is that there are all kinds of slogans out there — not just one unifying one as the tourism folks suggest should be a key goal.

For example, the state motto is “The Crossroads of America,” adopted back in 1937 by the state Legislature.

If that were a “Jeopardy!” clue, I would be all over that with “What is the official slogan of Indiana?”

But it’s the motto, not the tourism slogan. I would have lost points with that answer.

Hailing from Wisconsin, I know for a fact the motto of my home state is “America’s Dairyland.”

Or do I?

Upon further checking, Wisconsin’s motto is “Forward.”

“America’s Dairyland” is what you’ll find on the license plates of vehicles that have been registered in the Badger State.

Here in Indiana, there are so many license-plate sayings and designs that no one can even name them all, not even a college honors student.

Besides the basic “Bicentennial 1816-2016” and “In God We Trust” plates, our state offers specialty-plate options for:

Six different branches of military service.

Fifty-six organizations, including mottos such as the Tony Stewart Foundation’s “Accelerating change” and the Indiana Soccer plate’s “Live with goals.”

College and university license plates for 33 universities. The list does include Indiana University Purdue University of Fort Wayne but does not include Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. Do I hear 34?

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