"First in Freedom" license plates now available in North Carolina

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North Carolina is unveiling a new state license plate ahead of July Fourth.

Beginning Wednesday, North Carolina motorists can choose a new "First in Freedom" standard state license plate for the first time since 1982.

The "First in Freedom" plate joins the "First in Flight" plate, as the second standard-issue option for vehicle owners and recognizes the state's historic role in the creation of the United States.

"North Carolina is a state of firsts and we continue to be a leader in innovation," said Governor Pat McCrory. "What a great way to celebrate North Carolina's rich history and the birth of our nation by offering drivers a chance to proudly display a plate that honors our contribution to freedom, here in one of the most military friendly states."

The phrase "First in Freedom" recognizes two "firsts" established by North Carolinians during the early stages of the American Revolution. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Halifax Resolves have been noted throughout history as the first steps by one of the original 13 colonies to secede from Great Britain.

This new version was designed by Charles Robinson, a historian and license plate collector who lives in Troy.