Mainers can’t get enough of retro flag, which will now appear on license plates

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:10 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine’s chickadee and pine cone license plates are poised to fly away, replaced by a retro design inspired by the original state flag which has seen a surge in popularity in recent years.

The proposed plate borrows from Maine’s first flag, with a blue north star and stylized green pine tree against a cream-colored background.

“After 24 years, it’s time for a new design,” said Rep. Lynne Williams, D-Bar Harbor, who sponsored the proposal.

The Legislature’s Transportation Committee voted unanimously Thursday in favor of the new plates while ordering up tweaks to their appearance. Motorists will be able to pick between the standard pine-and-star plate, or a plain version with no artwork. They’ll go into circulation in 2025 and 2026.

Mainers can’t seem to get enough of the old-school flags, which have appeared on flagpoles in addition to t-shirts, totes, hats and other items popular with tourists.

Interest in the old flag began to rise around the time of the state’s bicentennial in 2020. Adopted in 1901, the flag was used for eight years before being replaced by the current blue flag with a coat of arms.