'God Bless America ' license plates advance in Alabama

| 1/16/2006

An Alabama House panel has approved a bill that would allow vehicle owners to include on their license plates the display of words “God Bless America .”

The House Public Safety Committee passed the bill Wednesday, Jan. 11, on a voice vote.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, D-Munford, the bill – HB5 – originally required all Alabama license plates – with the exception of some specialty and motorcycle plates – to display the phrase.

Hurst said he agreed to the amendment because of concerns that courts might overturn a law that required people to have the phrase on their vehicle tags.

“I just feel this will boost the morale of citizens and help unify us,” Hurst told The Birmingham News.

The amended version’s next stop is the full House.

The phrase comes from the Irving Berlin song “God Bless America ,” which was made famous by singer Kate Smith.