Winner of County Vehicle Decal Contest Announced

by ARLnow.com January 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm 5,507 72 Comments

The new 2012-2013 Arlington County vehicle decal has been revealed.

The winner of this year’s vehicle decal design contest was announced at this afternoon’s County Board meeting. Out of a group of four design finalists, a decal with a photo of the Pentagon memorial received the most votes.

The decal, entitled “Silent Memories,” was designed by Jeppe Callander, an exchange student from Norway who’s attending Wakefield High School. Callander said he originally took the photo of the memorial to show his mother.

Arlington residents cast nearly 2,000 votes cast in the annual contest. About 155,000 decals will be mailed to vehicle owners this summer.

  • Lame. I think one with a picture of the Arlington Funeral Home on it would have been appropriate. That way, next year, when I scrape it off it will symbolize the wrecking ball knocking the old landmark down.

    • steve85

      you must be like 70 years old wanting a funeral home pic on your car to represent Arllington

      • Josh S


        Whoo hooo!!!

        Will FREDTERP weigh in on this discussion, too???

        Man, that would make my day……

      • truth be told

        I think OB’s point was symbolic of the wrecking mentality of the County toward old businesses.

  • Twenty-Four

    That is beautiful. I would pay $24 just to rent that sticker for a year.

  • ArlForester

    I can’t complain about that particular sticker so I will complain that we still need to put a stupid sticker on our car.

    • Rebecky


  • jim

    F the decal. Just smoke that the County uses to extort cash from residents.

    • Bryant

      Without the decal, a number of residents would not pay their PPT and the rest of us would end up paying more. (The experience in Fairfax when they eliminated their sticker.) I completely support the decal and believe that the only individuals being “extorted” are those who would not pay. I also think the picture is terrific and enjoy the competition each year.

      • MomOfTeens


      • truth be told

        So, you are saying the sticker is the only record the county would have of a tax payment? Are you kidding me? Do you really think Fairfax doesn’t know if someone paid their property tax because they have not issued stickers? Come on. Get real.

        • diabeticinarlington

          I think instead the point was that, with the decal, local law enforcement can identify vehicles that are not up-to-date on their PPT payments by referencing their current decal. If it’s last year’s sticker, then they’re late. If it’s the current year’s sticker, then no exorbitant ticket will be affixed to their windshield.

          • Z

            Exactly. Getting $40 tickets on a regular basis is a pretty good motivator.

          • truth be told

            They have tax records of payments made! All they need to do is scan a database and mail you a fine! In fact, that saves money by allowing the police to do something else other than collect fines for not paying tax!

          • TCE

            … they can’t scan a database and send you a fine if you haven’t registered your car in the first place… I’ve know a lot of people that have done that… moved into the area and not bothered for a few years to register.

        • Bryant

          Your missing the point. Stickers are an extremely effectively and low cost way of enforcing payment of the PPT. Of course they have records of tax payments as does Fairfax. The point is that without a sticker, identifying cars for which the car tax has not been paid becomes very easy.

          • Bryant

            And thank the two previous posts for explaining the point.

          • truth be told

            Uh, a database does that without paying for a cop to do it. Sort the tax payment records, identify the non-payers, and fine them. Then, sort it again later, identifying the remaining non-payers and send a tow truck to confiscate the car. Done without the need to pay the police to look at decals.

          • CourthouseChris

            You’re missing an element to this “database” solution. While records could identify cars that are registered to Arlington addresses, I believe the tax is required for cars primarily stored in Arlington, which is not identifiable in a database.

          • TooEasy

            Unless they have a Bondi garage the county regularly checks cars for overnight parking status. You can use the braile search in Arlnow to get the details.

          • TooEasy

            +1 , besides checking stickers is dangerous work. They need more night vision goggles and body armor to get the job done at night.

      • Mike

        Right on target. If everyone pays something, then everyone pays less. AndIi also like the competition, we get art on our windshields every year (though I will miss the Hume School when I put on my new decal).

  • novasteve

    I wish they picked a photo of the many dog turds all over the courthouse area.

    • dog

      and the cat sh!t

      • smokey joe

        and the cig butts

  • novasteve

    Hehe, if anyone wants to try it, you could claim the pentagon offends you as you are a pacificist, and refuse to put the sticker on your car. Freedom of speech includes freedom to not speak. This was decided in the supreme court about license plates and the “live free or die” thing they have in that new england state.

    • Bryant

      Cannot get away with that strategy because, if one objects to the picture in the sticker, they will receive a sticker without a picture.

      • Plunkitt of Clarendon Blvd

        Close, but in past years your option was to cover the picture.
        As far as I know, the county does not provide a picture-less sticker.

  • Stoneridge

    The tax is neglible unless you have a new car. Also, no one is forcing you to live here.

    • thecharlesriver

      Define negligible.

    • North A-Town Snob

      I don’t consider the nearly $900 I had to pay on a 7 year old car that I could never sell or trade in for the amount they appraised it at as negligible. And try arguing that fact to the County. When I bought the car they “appraised” it off of the NADA book value which was well above what I paid for the car brand new off the lot. Its a very interesting look on a county worker’s face when you try to educate them on some basic economic principles.

      • thecharlesriver

        But your $900 is certainly negligible as far as Stoneridge is concerned! lmao

      • Dia

        If your car has high enough mileage, you can get a reduction in your property taxes.

        BTW, what kind of car is it that you have to pay so much?

      • novasteve

        Actually I’m pretty lucky and they appraise my car far less than its worth because my car has such low miles. I could easily sell it for twice what they have the appraisal value.

    • thecharlesriver

      Another limousine-liberal chimes in with their hypocritical rhetoric.

  • thecharlesriver

    I can’t believe how lightly some of you take this issue. It’s very important to expend so much energy finding the absolute BEST image for this decal…….since soooooo many people take the time to look at the bottom center of your windshield next to the wipers.

    At least the guy in the inspection station can enjoy the image on each decal when he removes it at the end of the year!

    • bred

      The guy at the inspection station DOES NOT remove the Arlington sticker, only the state one. You have to remove it yourself.

      • thecharlesriver

        And that’s what I meant…..When he’s removing the inspection sticker he will see this one. You’re so uptight about that meaningless point…..you certainly live in the right area.

        • Fluffy

          And I thought a cat’s butt was tight and unyielding. Recheck your post.

          • thecharlesriver

            Rechecked——> Fine. Check yourself.

          • Fluffy

            “At least the guy in the inspection station can enjoy the image on each decal when he removes it at the end of the year!”

            End of debate. Fluffy 1, thecharlesriver 0.

          • thecharlesriver

            There was no “debate, since I clarified that already.

            How does this area attract so many of you types with streetlight poles up your read-end? Momma didn’t give you enough attention? Pull it out, and then take a deep breath and reeeeelax.

          • bred

            Hey… I was the one who saw the flaw of who removes stickers. I want a win, too. I’ll throw some catnip in the river. Tea party repub staffer gone in Nov, no doubt.

          • thecharlesriver

            If this is your idea of an “intellectual” score then feel free to take it! LOL.

            I”ll be fine, I assure you. Most high school kids are wittier than you are…..and far less uptight.

          • bred

            Fluffy is funny. Just having fun and helping people clarify posts so real meaning is understood. My communication teacher at W-L says to say it right the first time.

          • thecharlesriver

            It’s a chat board. Nobody “said” anything. Follow your own advice. 😉

          • thecharlesriver

            But you might want to recheck your own sexual proclivities…..given your “intimate” level of knowledge in certain areas.

          • Fluffy

            Lick, lick, lick. Because I can!!!!!!!

  • CourthouseChris

    I appreciate that they chose to depict the Andromeda galaxy in the background there.

  • Swag

    “designed by”?


  • Clarenhood

    Maybe next year one of the HS students can capture a photo of a board member kissing some resident’s tush. Pucker up!

  • Dezlboy

    I didn’t vote for this design. In the dark it just looks like some astronomy photo – which is a good thing.

    But, I think it’s great that the winner is an exchange student. He must be thrilled to win and what a nice story for the folks back in Norway. Go Jeppe!

    And ARLNOW thanks for adding that he is an exchange student. That info isn’t on the Arlington Co web site, yet…

  • charlie rangel

    why should i pay my personal property taxes?

    • Clarenhood

      To get pretty decal.

    • truth be told

      To avoid getting arrested or a lien put on your property.

  • John Fontain

    “designed by Jeppe Callander, an exchange student from Norway…”

    It’s gotten to the point in this country that we have to import decal designs?

    • Clarenhood

      Surgen taggen.

  • Paco Wellington III

    I wonder if I can buy a sticker and give it to Bondi?

    • charlie rangel

      she wouldn’t know what it was.

      you can buy them on ebay. wait a few more weeks. that and zone parking permits will be available starting Feb. 15.

      just like adult recertational items on ebay, you buy an envelope, but it happens to come with a sticker. love free enterprise.

  • Barbin

    It’s a lovely photo, but I don’t think Arlington County should be defined by 9/11.

    • On one hand…

      I get your post, but I have to say growing up in Arlington living here now I’m really over going out and people saying “where are you from?” I say “Arlington” they say “no, not where do you live, where are you from originally?” This dialogue goes on far too long and if I had gotten my drink in time for the bartender I would quickly try to move away. Same situation with out-of-towners when I’m elsewhere and they say where are from? I usually just say “DC” because it’s easier (depending how far out I am I guess)… if they seem familiar with the area and ask more specifically, I say “Arlington” and half the people respond with “the cemetery?” I mean… really? I know it’s not a huge county, I get that, but it’s not all one place. 🙁

  • I voted for the Ferris wheel decal because it was the only one not focusing on death.

    • Josh S


      Also, to recognize the life includes more than the military, even in Arlington, VA.

      • Wakefield Dad

        Despite the fact that the memorial is located at the Pentagon, the majority of those killed were civilians on the plane, not military. This is not a memorial to the military. Also, I’d like to point out to all of the people who take every opportunity to put down Wakefield that every single finalist was a Wakefiled student. Way to go Wakefield.

  • steve85

    Thank god they picked this instead of some old school pic of arlington. Welcome to the 21st Century

    • brian

      it’s not the first picture with the pentagon.

      i have an unused pentagon sticker some where.

      i’m sure fleabay will provide me with some $$$ for it some day

  • John Snyder

    Congratulations Jeppe, it is a beautiful photograph, as were the other finalists.

    • thecharlesriver

      Yes and everyone should get a participation “award.”

  • Tricycle rider

    Nice shot, Jeppe!
    Beautiful picture!. Congratulations on your award and you are a worthy winner. Very good that it was a “foreigner” who won the award. Good that we can have exchange students in our wonderful country and give them a memory for life. God bless America

  • Pablo

    Wait a second… didn’t Jim Gilmore and his ilk “end the car tax”??

    • Josh S

      Dang, we got almost to the end before someone had to bring this up. Again.

  • Lou

    Nice picture, but you have to get really close up to the car to see what it’s all about. Simple is better for small graphics like that. More contrast, more figure-ground relationships to pop the image out and make it more recognizable.


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