Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Those White Ovals

If you traveled in Europe before the days of the European Union, you probably remember those oval car stickers with two letter abbreviations designating the car owner's nationality. Among others, there was BE for Belgium, DE for Germany, FR for France and that CH for Switzerland that used to trip me up. (And yes I know that the Swiss don't belong to the EU.)

Those stickers seem to be pretty much a thing of the past. But Americans, who love to decorate their automobiles, heaven knows why, have adopted them with a vengeance. (For the record they are mostly magnetic rather than adhesive.) Here's an assortment seen in the hood:

Vacation destinations


Expressions of personality and interests

And my personal favorites


  1. As an Annapolitan, someone who resides (some of the time) in Annapolis, one of my favorites in the DC area is MRE. It stands for "Maritime Republic of Eastport" because they claim that they seceded from Annapolis. Every year, there is a friendly tug of war between the two.

    Maritime Republic of Eastport

    You'll probably see MRE on some of the cars with the MD license plates. My brother, who lives in Alexandria, tells me that those are the cars with the crazy drivers. I, of course, think that the opposite is true.

  2. Love the stickers! Very dc it's true.

  3. Great observation, Anne! There are so many of them now it's hard to know what they all stand for. I'm more familiar with the northeast ones, ACK and BIRI, Nantucket and Block Island.

  4. As the father of two rowers & the husband of another one, I'm trying to figure out the GDS CREW one. Its doesn't match up with any of the local rowing schools that I can think of. The only GDS I'm aware of is an old New England prep school: Governor Dummer School (which I always thought would be a highly-undesirable name for an educational institution ;-)

  5. Ooops... I just Googled Governor Dummer, & it's Governor Dummer Academy. Or at least it used to be back in the day: they've changed their name to the Governor's Academy. And none too soon, if you ask me.

  6. And a little more Googling answers my question: Georgetown Day School. I've actually seen them at regattas at Thompson's Boat Center: they just don't usually have much of a presence.