The following editorial appeared in the Kearney Hub.
Bring 10 Nebraskans together, ask them what constitutes the best license plate design, and you're likely to get 10 broadly different answers.
People usually don't agree on license plate designs.
At least that seems to be the experience here in Nebraska, where motorists have had to muddle through one lousy license plate after another.
The current plates looked terrific in the developmental stages, but in production they're terrible because the images of a meadowlark bird and goldenrod flower just look like yellow stains a couple of car lengths away.
On the positive side, the new plates will aid law enforcement personnel by boosting the legibility of numbers and letters on the white background.
The image of the Sower statute in the center of the new plates will likely be faint and hardly noticeable when the actual license plates go into circulation in 2017.
The Sower's faintness will aid legibility of numbers and letters, but that's probably an unintended consequence, since the new plates appear to have been designed by amateurs.
Gov. Pete Ricketts unveiled the design, and immediately the complaining began.
It's hard to fault Nebraskans who face the probability that the plain-looking plates will be hanging from their front and rear bumpers in about one year.
Although we don't agree with most of the complainers, we do believe it was a poor decision to exclude Nebraskans from the design and selection process. We liked having a say when picking new plates six years ago.
Nebraskans actually had some fun pitching ideas for the current license plate design in 2009.
Never mind that the selection process was a bit undermined by a humor website that asked followers to cast online ballots for what it labeled the most boring design.
Officials then recounted the votes and declared a different plate as the winner — the one with the goldenrod and meadowlark.
Perhaps Nebraskans would be happier if we'd conduct a recount on the new standard design.
It's dull. The plates' dark blue and gold highlight colors are strangely non-Nebraskan.
There just has to be a way to design a plate we all can be proud of.
Thankfully, the "save the mountain lion" plates championed by State Sen. Ernie Chambers in this year's legislative session will be available at the same time the new — ugh! — standard plates come out in 2017.