By Joshua Benton
Blade Columbus Bureau
COLUMBUS — John Glenn wasn’t the only Ohioan thinking about taking flight yesterday.
On the steps of the Statehouse, a Dayton mortgage banker unveiled the artwork he’s been slaving over for six months and been pushing for more than three years: a new Ohio state seal.
The change proposed by William Burnett: adding the Wright brothers’ 1903 airplane, flying straight into the seal’s sunrise.
“I’ve been spending all my spare time on the weekends working on it,” Mr. Burnett said, standing next to the colorful seal prototype. “It’s an important change we want to make.”
Mr. Burnett says that if state government agrees to adopt his seal, it would boost economic development and tourism – not to mention settle the ugly, decades-old debate between Ohio and North Carolina over who was truly “first in flight.”
“It’s an injustice to our state, as the place where the first plane was built,” he said.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were Dayton residents, and they tested and designed their airplane prototypes there. But when they wanted to find a windy place to try their first real flight, they tossed their plane on a train and headed off to Kitty Hawk, N.C.