Tuesday, August 14, 2007

State flag stamps

The Associated Press and other media outlets are reporting that the U.S. Postal Service will salute the flags of every state in the union, its five territories and the District of Columbia next spring with the first 10 of the 60 "Flags of Our Nation" first-class coiled stamps.

In a USPS press release, Postmaster General John Potter is quoted as saying. ”These beautiful symbols of democracy are educational treasures that make for a great introduction to stamp collecting. As one of the world’s most popular hobbies, stamp collecting is an activity the entire family can enjoy.”

The release went on to say, "The unfurling begins in alphabetical order next spring with the debut of stamps honoring flags of Alabama through Delaware — including the Stars and Stripes — followed by 10 more in the fall — District of Columbia through Kansas. The waving continues in 2009 and 2010 to complete the 60 stamp designs. Four of the six groups of 10 will include a Stars and Stripes stamp. The definitive stamps will be arranged alphabetically in strips of 10 and sold in coils of 100, with 10 strips of 10 designs in each coil. "

Artist Tom Engeman of Brunswick, MD, created the flag stamps to include state seals and coats of arms. In addition to the flag art, each stamp design includes artwork that provides a “snapshot view” of the state or other area represented by a particular flag.

In most cases, an everyday scene or activity is shown, but occasionally the view is of something less commonplace —rare wildlife, perhaps, or a stunning vista. Unlike some previous multi-stamp issuances, this series is not limited to official animals, flowers, or products, nor is it meant to showcase well-known buildings, landmarks, or monuments.

In 1976, a sheet of 50 state flag stamps were issued as part of the Bicentennial celebration.

Shown above is the United States flag which will be among the first issued. The adjoining artwork depicts the “spacious skies” of “America the Beautiful,” by Katharine Lee Bates.

To see pictures of others in the group, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM