The State Plates Project is currently in the process of redesigning the license plates for all 50 states. Sorry, Washington DC. 50 different graphic designers have come together to each produce a different state's plate (see what they did there?). The concept is to design license plates that are more modern and fresh without making them devoid of symbolic meaning, and each designer put so much thought into it that they've written brief essays explaining what they're going for...and sometimes translating obscure Latin phrases.
They're mostly done; see what they've got so far below, and check out the artists' essays on the other side of the links.