Sunday, March 20, 2005

Equality Before the Law

by Kyle Michaelis
It's hard to argue for either of the two phallic symbols also in the running for Nebraska's state quarter (chimney rock, state capitol) over the simple beauty of this Chief Standing Bear design. If there is a story we can give to this country, from which its children can learn and draw inspiration (with only a hint of shame for the "sins of the father"), this is it.

In my mind, William Jennings Bryan and Charlie Starkweather are the only other two Nebraskans whose stories reveal so much about the heart of the heartland, but one of those is too political and the other too horrific. Chief Standing Bear's isn't a simple story of populist heroism or evil stripped bare, it's about the struggle to undue injustice. If Nebraskan's truly stand by that revered motto "Equality Before the Law," there is no greater testament to this highest of principles we have to offer. Governor Heineman should proudly select this design to represent our state.

For a look at preliminary sketches of other possible designs, look here.

For my thoughts on the state quarter from way way back in 2002, check out the archives here.

How funny that our unelected governor of 2 months COULD be judged primarily on the basis of the quarter design he selects when up for election next November. It's unlikely Heineman will take any other action in the next year that will be as noticable to the entire state. I'd be interested to know just how dangerous he considers this choice, if at all.


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