The Preamble in license plates


Mike Wilkins, Preamble (1987). Painted metal on vinyl and wood. On display in the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American Art.

Artist Mike Wilkins was born August 17, 1959, in North Carolina. He is "[b]est known as a conceptual artist who celebrated the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution by requesting personalized license plates from all fifty states to form its preamble.” Celebrate America in Poetry and Art (Nora Panzer ed., 1994). For additional commentary, see Ordinary Finds and Geekologie.

In plain English, unfiltered by licence plate lingo, here is the Preamble to the Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

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