New Nebraska License Plates Feature Capitol Mosaic

May 31, 2022, 2 p.m. ·

A mockup of a new Nebraska license plate (Photo by Fred Knapp, Nebraska Public Media News)
A mockup of a new Nebraska license plate (Photo by Fred Knapp, Nebraska Public Media News)

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Nebraskans will get new license plates next year featuring a design inspired by a mosaic in the state Capitol.

State law requires new license plates every six years. The new plate designed by Omaha graphic artist Drew Davies features a version of the mosaic entitled “Genius of Creative Energy” by Hildreth Meière that's embedded in the floor of the Capitol just inside the north entrance. Capitol Administrator Bob Ripley described the mosaic.

“It’s the first picture you see when you walk into the Capitol. It’s the image on the floor that summarizes, as it says in its name, the genius of creative energy. All the natural forms of the universe shown with this historic charioteer, if you will, kind of holding the reins of this power, without which we do not – without this power and all these various forms of energy in the environment -- we do not have agriculture and industry in Nebraska, or anywhere for that matter,” Ripley said.

First Lady Susanne Shore led the redesign effort for her husband, Gov. Pete Ricketts. Shore said she’s ready for people’s reactions.

“It is inevitable that there’s going to be criticism. It’s sort of a state sport in every state to criticize the license plate. I’m from Oklahoma and boy, when they change theirs, you hear about it from my parents and everyone else. So, it’s not unique to Nebraska. But I think time will show that this will become a very beloved license plate. I certainly hope so,” Shore said.

County officials will begin sending out the new plates, the first since 2017, in January.