Ohio House votes to add Wright Flyer to state seal

Feb 14, 2018
State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, has launched an attempt through House legislation to have the Wright Flyer added to the state of Ohio seal.

In a nod to Orville and Wilbur Wright’s place in Ohio history, state lawmakers voted to add the Wright Flyer to the official state seal and coat of arms.

Wright Brothers fans and family members have been pushing for the change for more than two decades.

The Ohio House voted 89-3 in favor of a bill sponsored by state Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek. If it becomes law, it isn’t expected to cost any additional money since it would require that existing supplies — signs, printed materials, podiums — be exhausted before any with the new design are purchased.

Related: Lawmaker pushes to add Wright Flyer to state sealPerales called it a subtle change that will help cement Ohio’s legacy in aviation.

The seal and coat of arms shows a rising sun peeking over a mountain and down onto a farm field with sheaves of grain. The Wright Flyer would be added to the sky, just above the rising sun.

The seal was last changed in 1996. The bill now moves to the Ohio Senate for consideration.

Related: Take that Connecticut! Ohio lawmakers vote to back Wrights as first in flightThe Wright Flyer stands in history for its brief series of powered flights over the beaches of Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. It was the world’s first man-carrying, powered, controllable, heavier than air flying machine.

Through the years the invention has been claimed by North Carolina, which stamped the plane on its version of the U.S. quarter in 2001 and superimposed “First in Flight” over the Wright Flyer on state license plates.

Amanda Wright Lane, the great niece of the Wright Brothers, said in written testimony: “In the history of man, we have gone from fire to wheels to wings, and those wings were imagined, designed, built and tested in our great state. Two young Ohioans took our latest great leap for civilization. I would argue strongly that we should add the Wright Flyer to our great state of Ohio’s seal, and set ourselves apart as Ohioans again.”