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Winning County Decal Design Revealed

by Katie Pyzyk January 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm 2,048 47 Comments

Arlington County 2013-2014 vehicle decalA high school junior’s graphic design has been chosen to grace Arlington windshields as the county’s winning 2013-2014 vehicle decal.

Ben Jenks, a Washington-Lee High School junior, designed the decal based on this year’s decal competition theme of “USS Arlington.” The theme was chosen to highlight the ship bearing the county’s name that will be commissioned this spring. The USS Arlington is named to honor those who lost their lives at the Pentagon on 9/11 and the first responders who risked their lives.

“I think this decal will be a fine inspiration to the sailors and Marines that will be onboard our ship, the USS Arlington,” said Treasurer Frank O’Leary. “It will also be a fitting tribute to those who died and those who served so heroically on 9/11.”

Jenks’ design was chosen through a county-wide vote after the field of competitors was narrowed from 23 entries to four finalists. The other finalists were Wakefield High School junior Kira Tucker, Wakefield High School junior Isabel George and Washington-Lee High School junior Ben Tobin.

The Treasurer’s Office began the design competition for high school students in 2005. This year, 2,080 votes were cast online and by mail.

  • KalashniKEV

    Why do we have these stickers?

  • novasteve

    Great, now I’m unpatriotic if I complain about the $33 sticker fee. That sticker could be the great solution to our debt problems give how much so little costs. Very valuable substance.

    • drax

      Two straw men in one post, steve. You’re getting more efficient.

      • dezlboy

        Hey, I think novasteve is really the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz.

        @nova,,,,,just kidding. While I find your posts obnoxious at times, they are fun to read. And I bet your a nice guy.

    • Steve’s MD

      Don’t forget your meds!

  • Decal Fee


  • Westover

    Looks great! Kind of expensive sticker though at $30.

    Now let the peacenix complaints about the warship on our cars begin!

  • DCBuff

    While not my favorite of the 4 design finalists (kind of liked the one with the sunset and the one with the eagle better), I’m just fine with honoring the USS Arlington. Now, about that $30 decal fee…

    • Elspet

      Unless the Arlington is going to be based on the west coast, the sun setting over the ocean says less about our patriotism and more about our public education system.

      • but

        maybe the sun is rising.

      • Westover

        I can see the sun setting over the Bay from Virginia…..

      • WeiQiang

        you do realize that the Earth is round, right? also, ships travel beyond the horizon.

  • johnny b

    I guess I’ll just copy & paste my previous comment to this contest:
    johnny b
    December 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    “Maybe they should use the 33 bucks to teach students about the U.S. Flag Code.
    Proper respect and etiquette according to the code would eliminate one of the stickers.

    “The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed, or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.”

    Since the stickers are discarded each year, the one with the ‘flag boat’ violates this rule.”

    And of course that’s the winner!!

    • CourthouseChris

      I don’t see a flag but a stylized pattern reminiscent of the old stars & stripes. I think you are overly rigid in your interpretation here.

    • bobbytiger

      Flag Code? I mean like, whatever.

    • drax

      Even flags are discarded after temporary use.

      • Josh S

        How long did it take you to come up with that one?
        I mean, if you had to be contrary about something, that’s about the lamest thing you could have chosen to be contrary about…..

        • Quoth the Raven

          It’s in my nature, said the scorpion to the frog….

        • drax

          Whereas johnny b’s post wasn’t?

          • CourthouseChris

            Point: drax.

    • flag code?

      So all those miniature flags that people wave at the Fourth of July and stuff – does everyone dispose of those according to the flag code? Or keep them forever?

      • WeiQiang

        the only requirement is that it be destroyed in a dignified manner.

        US Flag Code. TITLE 4 > CHAPTER 1 > Sec. 8(k). It states:

        “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning”

        • flag code?

          So you think they are all disposed of in a dignified manner? People burn them?

  • Buckingham Bandit

    LPD > APD

  • Tumblebum

    Hmmmmm. LPD =Lovettsville Police dept. I got it.

  • fedworker

    Does 100% of the $33 decal fee go towards the production and distribution of the sticker? Design was $0. $33 seems hefty. I bet these stickers can be produced at half the cost in China.

    • Kleio

      No, they cost pennnies to produce.

      The design service is free thanks to the students. A committee that chooses the finalists works free. A private concern pays the prizes. Cost for printing is tiny. Administration of the program, and mailing, undoubtedly cost, but a lot less than the revenues to county government. The fee is basically just a tax we pay for the privilege of keeping an auto in Arlington.

      That said, I liked it better when the image was something in the county and the choice subject matter left up to the individual contest entrants. Moreover, we have the 9/11 Pentagon memorial on the current sticker, we have had the Pentagon itself not too long ago (that was the year we ALMOST had a quote from Robert E. Lee about, and in 2014 I would have preferred to see something less military oriented.

      However, I do not think the county sticker-design program has been the subject of either legislation or court challenge, so in this matter, at least for the time being, “L’etat, c’est Francis X. O’Leary.”

      • Kleio


        apologies for the typo-ridden comment

        The year of the Pentagon sticker: I meant to cut the comment about what we “almost” had that year, since it is now history, and goofed up. Ignore please.

  • TypicalMoonbat

    I refuse to let the county use my car to glorify the baby killers of the US Military Industrial Complex.

    • Buckingham Bandit

      1. Meant to say LPD > ACPD

      2, You realize your taxes support the US military every day, so enjoy your Pyrrhic victory.

      • drax

        He’s parody. Since he’s disappointed that there are no real moonbats saying that, he had to make one up.

        • Quoth the Raven

          But see R’s comment below!

          • drax

            ” ‘MURICA” =/= “baby killers!”

  • John

    Something dumber than DC.

  • R. Griffon

    Blech. I’m all for something that recognizes the USS Arlington as I think it’s kinda cool we got our own namesake on a ship ‘n all, but that flag overlay screems ‘MURICA!!!

    And what’s with all the pixelation in the background?

    • Alex

      ‘murica don’t need no high res funny business.

    • drax

      The pixelation is from the secret censor at Guantanamo.

    • Student

      It’s representing the Navy’s digital camo.

  • Bob

    All your base are belong to us!

  • WL95

    polygon lasso, add layer, paste, adjust transparency, invert selection, pixelate filter, add text/effects, profit

    • Student

      Close actually, but there was a Displacement Map also used.

  • Garden City

    That ship is going to make a great target, all painted up like that.

  • n00bbanker

    All nice designs. Glad this one won as it appears the student had to some work. The others appeared to be entirely copy and paste of photos of the USS Arlington.

  • Rory

    Militarism everywhere you look

    • WeiQiang

      in Arlington? say it ain’t so.

      • drax

        Next they’ll want to put the nation’s most hallowed military cemetery and a the headquarters of every service here or something.

  • other side of the river



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