If there were a category for patriotism, Philip Scott's motorcycle would have won it.
Instead, Scott's Harley-Davidson — which is covered in what appears to be parchment paper background and George Washington's farewell address in hand-drawn calligraphy — won third place in the Harley "dresser" bike category at the 2011 Republic of Texas Biker Rally.
The four-day rally, which started Thursday, ends today. Last year, the event drew nearly 41,000 motorcyclists, and organizers expect more participants this year.
"The inspiration for this bike is that people generally are unaware of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence," said Scott, 50, of Kentucky. "They don't have a depth of knowledge of our liberties and where they came from."
It took Scott two years to build the bike, which he stripped down to the frame and reassembled. Since he started showing his bike in November, Scott says, he's won trophies in five of the six contests he's entered.
Saturday's bike show had 17 categories, including Harley dresser, Harley sportster, antique and professional-built custom. Bikes were judged on paint, frame and accessories, among other qualities.
Scott's bike sports a U.S. flag and a Gadsden flag , and a model 1863 Springfield trapdoor rifle.
"So many young people have no idea about our nation's history," said Scott, owner of a welding supply company.
Scott began riding 12 years ago when his wife came home with a motorcycle and said she wanted to learn. The two took safety classes together and have been riding since.
Mary "Pinky" Baker of Shreveport, La., didn't win a trophy for her blue and silver bike, but she was eager to show it off. Her bike is emblazoned with a photo of her brother, Johnny Gang, who died of cancer in May 2010. The two attended the 2008 ROT rally together. She inherited her brother's bike, painted it last winter in the colors of his beloved Dallas Cowboys and brought it to the show.
"I feel like he would want me to do that because we came together," Baker said.
Abraham Nasser, 34 of Austin took first place in the Harley sportster category for his motorcycle. A Notre Dame fan, the computer programmer spent months rebuilding the bike, then painted it green and gold. He's taken it to the Great Smoky Mountains, which span Tennessee and North Carolina, and recently came back from a road trip to California.
"I'm proud of it," Nasser said of his bike. "It has more sentimental value than anything."