License plates offer new avenue to show city pride

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 13, 2008

Motorists who want to show their Brookhaven pride on theirvehicles have an attractive and affordable new option available atthe city clerk’s office.

The new shipment of white Brookhaven license plates is in, CityClerk Mike Jinks said, and are being sold for $5 in his office. Thenew license plate design differs from a previous one that was basedon the city’s original red flag, which has since been changed to awhite background.

He said the new design came from a combination of factors.

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“We needed to get away from the red flags because they faded sobad, so we took the idea we had for our city lapel pins and putthat on the white background and put it on the flag,” he said.

Jinks said the promotional tag idea came when he and Deputy CityClerk Marsha Fairman were going to the International ClerksConvention, where attendees often trade pins with others from allover the country and the world.

“At this point we discussed having a city pin, and the boardapproved that,” he said.

Jinks added that he worked with the pin company to come up witha design, and incorporating the flag design just seemed to makesense.

When the city flag made its debut, it was immediately popular,but somewhat cost prohibitive for just anyone to have one, Jinkssaid. So that’s where the idea of the car tags was born.

“This was pretty much public-driven from the beginning, we’vehad people asking for them for a while,” he said. “People werestill asking when we ran out of the red ones, so when we did feellike it was time to buy some more, we opted to match the flagagain.”

Jinks said the popularity of the tags is a good indicator thatlocal people love their hometown.

“If they didn’t have pride in Brookhaven, they wouldn’t put themon their vehicles,” he said. “We’re glad to have them and we wantto make sure the public is aware of them, and the same goes for thelapel pins.”

The lapel pins, at $2 each, are a great gift that can become acollector’s item in future years. Jinks said they’re a goodkeepsake for children or grandchildren, but that he himself hasenjoyed trading them at conventions.

“When we go to the international conventions, we have clerksthere from all over the world, and we have pin swaps and stuff,” hesaid. “Marsha and I have pins from all over the U.S. and some fromoverseas.”

Both the tags and the pins are available at the city clerks’office.

“We’re happy to see people have that much interest in the city,”Jinks said.