Excelsior! New York license plate design shows more than Manhattan

3 of 5 designs featured Statue of Liberty

By Jay Croft, CNN
CNN image

The winning design features Niagara Falls and the Statue of Liberty.

(CNN) - There's more to New York state than New York City.

That could be the message behind the most popular design in a new license plate contest.

On Friday, the state announced the wide-ranging winner, which features not only the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, but also Niagara Falls, a mountain range, and a Long Island lighthouse.

Three of the five finalists starred a solo Lady Liberty.

The fifth showed a bridge named for late former Gov. Mario Cuomo. It tied for last place.

All the finalists used blue and gold, an outline of the state, and the word "Excelsior," which is the Latin motto on the state seal that means "Ever upward."

People across the state had two weeks to vote online or at the state fair in Syracuse, and about half of the 325,000 votes cast went to the eventual winner, affiliate WABC reported.

"The design overwhelmingly selected by New Yorkers showcases some of our most iconic symbols and truly represents what the Empire State is all about -- our diversity, our unparalleled architecture and natural beauty, and our unyielding commitment to freedom and justice for all," said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder.

The new design replaces the current yellow and blue plates issued since 2010.

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