Mock up based on other Arkansas speciality plates.
The Burning Taper is reporting that Sebastian Lodge No. 706 of Fort Smith, Arkansas currently has this statement atop its homepage:
NOTICE: Grand Lodge has declared that No Freemason of Arkansas is to purchase a Masonic license plate. These are for Prince Hall Masons, which Arkansas considers to be clandestine lodges. Sebastian Lodge does not condone the viewpoint, nevertheless we are to notify everyone of this decision. 2 FEB 2010
So far, I have been unable to find any other reference to this statement, even on the Grand Lodge of Arkansas F&AM website. Nor have I found any documentation that such a license plate exists in Arkansas, even on the Office of Motor Vehicle website. The website of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Jurisdiction of Arkansas, F.&A.M. is also silent on the subject.
The Grand Lodge of Arkansas F&AM is one of ten jurisdictions remaining in the U..S. that do not recognize their Prince Hall (PHA) grand lodge counterparts.
Brother Fred Milliken, who is a member of a Prince Hall lodge in Texas, passed the following message along:
Having just returned from the 138th Grand Session of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Arkansas I can testify to the fact that the Masonic license plate is an official license plate issued by the state of Arkansas, what some of us in other states would call a "vanity plate." It is not a decorative plate for the front of the vehicle but would be a purchaser's official vehicle license plate. It is also a generic plate neither geared toward Mainstream or PHA. The fact that Prince Hall initiated this program and got it approved by the state of Arkansas and thus a portion of the sale of every license plate goes to the Prince Hall Grand Lodge seems to have Arkansas Mainstream Masons' knickers in a twist.
According to Janet Beck at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the specialty fees for the plates go to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge Community Outreach Inc. in Pine Bluff, which grants scholarships to Arkansas high school seniors.
Fred has posted a copy of the letter from the Grand Master here.