Calif. Gets New Whale Tail Plates

Original artist's request for a 20% cut spurred the change.

By The Associated Press
|  Friday, Jul 15, 2011  |  Updated 9:08 AM PDT
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Calif. Gets New Whale Tail Plates

Calif. Coastal Commission via LATimes.com

Californias new whale-tail license plate to be issued starting Aug. 2 blends images submitted by two artists in a statewide contest. The new plate, which is based on the tail of a humpback whale, replaces the popular image painted by the Laguna Beach muralist known as Wyland.

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California has replaced muralist Wyland's disputed whale-tail vehicle license plate with a new version of the environmental plate. The state will begin issuing the new plate, featuring a vibrant whale-tail image, on Aug. 2.

The Wyland whale-tail plate, which cost $50 more than regular plates, had been one of the most popular license plates in California.

The Los Angeles Times says nearly 200,000 of the plates were sold since 1997, raising millions for coastal and environmental conservation programs.

But the Laguna Beach artist wanted 20 percent of the profits from sales to fund his environmental foundation and the state stopped issuing the plate three years ago.

The California Coastal Commission sponsored a contest to design the new whale-tail plate and a hybrid of the top two contenders was produced.

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