Every two years, the Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation prints three million maps, showing on one side the state's transportation system, and on the other, points of interest.
Historically important areas, for instance, are marked on the 1984-85 maps by yellow circles.
But since 1921, when VDH&T started printing the maps it gives out to travelers, Loudoun County's four national historic landmarks have been overlooked, says Frank Raflo, Loudoun County supervisor from the Leesburg District.
The four are Oak Hill, former home of President James Monroe; Oatlands, a national historic trust property; the Waterford Historic District, and Balls Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery, placed on the national historic landmarks list earlier this year.
"We've tried for years to get Virginia to show that Loudoun is important for something, and if you look at the maps, we're not important for anything," Raflo told his fellow supervisors last week.
Determined to rectify the situation, Raflo, with the board's assent, appointed himself a committee of one to persuade the state's map officials to give Loudoun its yellow circles.
Raflo believes that if he succeeds the county will reap economic benefits it may now be missing.
"The governor has said that tourism is the No. 2 industry in the state, and yet for people who see the maps, they have no idea there's anything in Loudoun County . . . and that's inexcusable," he said.
Raflo has been communicating with state highway officials as well as state Sen. Charles L. Waddell (D-Loudoun-Fairfax), chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
At VDH&T information services office, Administrator R. Nicholas Brown said there is limited space on the maps, "so we make sure we have a regional representation," based on local requests for designations, and the map committee's recommendation after reviewing the requests. "We'd be glad to review Loudoun County's request."
Raflo knows his quest will take time -- the next map comes out in 1986. He said even though "we're not pictured, we're not written up, we're not anything . . . it doesn't mean the end of the world. It just means we'd like to get our little yellow dot."