I feel I've been scooped by the good John Hinderaker at Power Line on a matter pertaining to my beloved state of New Hampshire. I would be derelict if I did not chime in on the issue. John says:
It's been the state motto since 1945. As I pointed out here, it's really the best state motto. (Although the competition isn't exactly Olympic-caliber. Maine: "Dirigo", Latin for "I Direct". Please.)
Indeed. We even had a case go to the Supremes about it. (Argued by then Attorney General David Souter, who lost.) So now, "living free" also includes the right to tape over the motto on your plates, if you hate it enough. Now that's irony.
So I've enjoyed the latest motto controversy. New Hampshire, inspired by its more liberal elements--or, more likely, by its real estate developers--came up with a new jingle; it doesn't really qualify as a motto: "You're going to love it here." Feeble, no? Nevertheless, signs displaying the new slogan were posted along highways entering New Hampshire. The result was unhappiness…
This is where John goes off the track a little, unfortunately.
The "You're going to love it here" slogan was the brainchild of
a Portsmouth NH ad agency hired by the
New Hampshire Department of Travel and Tourism.
It's probably not politically motivated, other than by our state's ongoing
effort to get out-of-staters to come in and help fund our state
government. So that, um, we residents don't have to. (And don't think
we don't appreciate it, folks!)
It in no way replaces LFOD, the Official State Motto.
New Hampshire's highway welcome signs haven't, generally, ever had the LFOD motto
(There's one, on I-89 in Lebanon, which remains. My theory is that
it's there to irritate Vermonters, always an amusing activity.)
The welcome signs have pretty much always been bland; the new ones
simply went all the way to total smarmy adspeak.
But, thanks to the utter lameness of the "You're going to love it
here" slogan (as John points out):
The Senate passed a bill Thursday to require the state motto, "Live Free or Die," on highway welcoming signs. The motto could replace the "love it" slogan on the beige signs, or, more likely, appear on new signs.
So, bottom line, LFOD fans need not fret. The motto is alive and well.
Amusing side note: Current news stories have our governor, John Lynch, all for getting rid of the "generic" slogan; the Concord Monitor, however, recalls that he thought it was great when it was officially introduced last summer. Headlines the Monitor: "Lynch liked slogan before he didn't." (This formulation will undoubtedly be John Kerry's most enduring legacy.)
(Image, um, borrowed from Fosters Daily Democrat. Thanks guys. Don't sue me, OK?)