Fort Worth

Proud of the ‘sound of freedom’ in Fort Worth? Here’s how to keep it with you

The loud roar of airplanes on the city’s west side has never been a bother to most locals.

Sure, the noise from aircraft such as the F-35 fighter jets temporarily stops conversations.

But many locals say the sound of those airplane engines symbolizes one thing: “The Sound of Freedom.”

State Sen. Jane Nelson wants Texans to be able to keep that F-35 pride with them no matter where they go.

Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has filed a bill requiring the state to create a license plate featuring the F-35 fighter jet — which is built at Lockheed Martin’s plant in west Fort Worth — along with the local motto: “The Sound of Freedom.”

Texans would be able to buy this specialty license plate — as they already may buy plates honoring everything from the military and colleges to Dr Pepper and sports teams such as the Dallas Cowboys — if Senate Bill 240 is approved by the Texas Legislature in 2019.

“The F-35 is a significant point of pride for Senate District 12 where it is manufactured,” said Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and the dean of the Tarrant delegation. “It is crucial in our country’s pursuit to promote and defend freedom around the globe and this legislation affirms Texas’ position as a hub for the aerospace industry.”

State lawmakers head back to work on Jan. 8 and will wrap up on May 27.

If Nelson’s proposal is approved, the license plates would be available some time after Sept. 1, 2019.

Texas’ No. 1 plate in 2018

Texas’ most popular license plate in 2018 was the Classic Black retro design for the third straight year, according to About 11,000 people bought the Classic Black design last year, a thousand more than bought it in 2017.

“Black and white plates are very popular in Texas, they look sleek, cool and compliment every vehicle color,” said Steve Farrar, president of

Texas A&M was the top Texas college license plate, with UT second, Texas Tech third and TCU fourth. The University of Houston rounded out the top five. LSU was the top out-of-state plate.

The Dallas Cowboys was the most popular sports-themed plate.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.