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On January 28, the District’s Office of the Secretary started soliciting design suggestions for the D.C. quarter, set to debut in 2009. Roughly 350 comments poured in before the deadline on Feb. 22, says Alan Heymann with the mayor’s office of communications. Drum roll please! Here are the selections:

1. The DC flag

2. Benjamin Banneker

3. Duke Ellington

Plus, all the narratives will contain the words “Taxation Without Representation” or “No Taxation Without Representation.”

And for your reading enjoyment, a few suggestions the city turned down:*

1. An exploding manhole cover.

2. A picture of an escalator with the words “step to the right.”

3. Boss Shepherd eating a Ben’s chili dog.

*Seriously, these were actually sent in.

The selection is quite a score for District non-profit, DC Vote, which sent out a blast e-mail to backers to drum up support for its favorite fighting words. Of course the phrase is already emblazoned on the city’s license plates, but group director Illir Ilir Zherka believes the quarter design would be a greater coup for the voting rights movement. “Coins last a lot longer, and they travel more, and people kind of own them,” he says. “Then you got the collectors and everyone else that doesn’t live in the city. So, I think the education impact could be more significant.”