TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is recalling hundreds of license plates that have the letter combination NGA amid concerns that the lettering could be seen as a racial slur.
Department of Revenue spokesman Zach Fletcher said that 828 Kansas license plate holders have received letters telling them that they must return the plates or risk being ticketed for having invalid tags, The Kansas City Star reports. He explained in an email that the “plate combination, if read as a phrase, can be perceived to read as a racial epithet.”
This is the second such recall in recent years. In 2018, Kansas recalled more than 700 plates after a Japanese-American man in Culver City, California, saw a car on a street near his home bearing the Kansas plate number 442 JAP.
Not only is JAP an ethnic slur, but for the man who complained about the plate in a letter to then-Gov. Jeff Colyer, the number on the plate compounded the unintended insult.
The 442nd Combat Regiment Team was made up almost entirely of the nisei, second-generation Japanese Americans who volunteered to fight in the European theater during World War II while many of their family members were confined to internment camps in the United States.