New Mississippi car tags feature BB's 'Lucille' - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

New Mississippi car tags feature BB's 'Lucille'

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Mississippi's new license plate features the slogan "Birthplace of America's Music" and B.B. King's signature guitar. The words "Celebrating Mississippi's Creative Culture" surround the guitar. Mississippi's new license plate features the slogan "Birthplace of America's Music" and B.B. King's signature guitar. The words "Celebrating Mississippi's Creative Culture" surround the guitar.
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

Say goodbye to the lighthouse and hello to Lucille. Beginning October 1, Mississippi's new car tags will feature B.B. King's beloved guitar "Lucille," as a nod to our state's musical heritage.

Since 2007, Mississippi car tags have featured the Biloxi Lighthouse. That design was chosen to commemorate the Gulf Coast's resilience in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

State law requires that the license plate design change every five years. But lighthouse lovers, don't worry. The Biloxi landmark will still be seen on the road for a while longer.

"The new tags will only be given out if a tag expired or a new vehicle was purchased on or after Oct. 1, 2012," said Jackson County Tax Collector Joe Tucker. "If the expiration or purchase date was prior to Oct. 1, 2012, the owners will continue to use the old lighthouse design until next year."

Some people waiting in line to renew their tags in Harrison County were a little disappointed they'll have to wait until next year to get the new design.

"I like it," said Harrison County resident Alex Gowan. "To me it's like a down home Blues thing with the guitar. So it's something original. So it's cool with it."

Lorraine Dodson was also pleased, "They're pretty cool. I like especially the guitar because I'm a music person."

Dodson said she thought the tag is a good representation of the state.  "More probably in the northern part because that's where our music stars came from but I think it represents the Gulf Coast as well because we're all music down here. "

Tony Strong, owner of Magnolia Music in Gulfport, said he is happy to see Mississippi is paying tribute to the Blues artists, many of whom rose from poverty to achieve the American dream.

"Someone has got the good decision making to do this for our tags," said Strong. "So we can send out vehicles all throughout the United States and broadcast the fact that Mississippi is the home of the Blues."

Strong said Mississippi's musical heritage will also help inspire the next generation of artists.

"Once they see the guitar and associate that with the name of Mississippi, they're going to have more interest to do that. Not only will it help promote our business of selling music and teaching music but it's going to help promote the name of Mississippi out in the world."

The new license plate was designed by Lucy Hetrick, an artist at the Mississippi Development Authority. The plate features the slogan "Birthplace of America's Music" and B.B. King's signature guitar. The words "Celebrating Mississippi's Creative Culture" surround the guitar.

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