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Author Topic: Need Some Help On State Routes  (Read 2858 times)

Ian

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Need Some Help On State Routes
« on: July 22, 2009, 01:23:49 AM »

Hey all!

I need some help on identifying the meaning to some of the state shields in the US.

Can anyone explain what the meaning of the shape of the New York state shield is? Ive been wondering that for a while now.

How about Maine and Massachusetts? Who was the genius that came up with the idea of plain boring squares? It just occured to me that Maine copied off of Massachusetts possible because Maine was once apart of Massachusetts?? Crazy idea but a theory indeed.

Here is also a list of states with route shields that have puzzled me:
-Virginia
-California
-Wisconsin
-Michigan

Can anyone explain to me what the design of those states shields mean? May seem kind of a dumb question for a road enthusiest but I want to know.

Thanks!
Ian
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agentsteel53

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Re: Need Some Help On State Routes
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 01:32:46 AM »

New York: it is a variant of the shield on the state seal.  why they didn't do the correct version, I do not know.  See here:

http://www.statesymbolsusa.org/IMAGES/New_York/New-York-seal.jpg

Virginia: I have no idea on the shield shape.

California: the shape itself is a miner's spade.  The old shields had a bear in it because that is the official state woodland creature.

Wisconsin: an evolution of the original shield, which was a triangle.  They made several modifications over the years, which can be seen - incompletely - here.  I really need to update that page! 

http://shields.aaroads.com/thumbs.php?state=WI&view=3

Mainly, they added a rounded-rectangle block to facilitate a larger number.  When they simplified the shield, the superposition of a rounded rectangle and a triangle became less obvious.

Maine and Massachusetts: the reason these are squares (along with CT, RI, older VT, and older NH) is because the first New England highway system of 1922 used simply square banners on poles to mark their routes.  Neither state copied off each other - they all took it from the New England system.  Why did that system just use square banners?  Because it was easy to read.  When wrapped around a round pole, a rectangular banner with a number was the simplest solution.  At the time there were no competing designs, and the idea of numbering roads was such a new one that the concept of state identity was not even considered.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2009, 01:42:55 AM by agentsteel53 »
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ctsignguy

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Re: Need Some Help On State Routes
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 07:32:53 AM »

i think Virginia was also based upon their State seal...

as for New England's boring squares, they are descendants of the original Interstate highway system which encompassed New England and western New York ....i guess back then it made more sense to carry the squares forward than develop different ones (there is that Yankee stubbornness again!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_road_marking_system

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agentsteel53

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Re: Need Some Help On State Routes
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 02:27:31 PM »

all the images I see on a google search for "virginia state seal" reveal a circle with the design in it. 

as you can see on the 8 and 260 on this page:

http://shields.aaroads.com/thumbs.php?state=VA&view=3

the seal is in a circle at the bottom of the shield.  I have no idea where the shield came from, other than that it is a traditional design for a shield (i.e. to defend against swords) and they thought it looked nice.
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Hellfighter

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Re: Need Some Help On State Routes
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 05:50:33 PM »

For Michigan, we've always had the diamond with the M in it.
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