Postal service issues new U.S. flag stamps

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has continued its tradition of celebrating the red, white and blue with the issuance of four new stamps featuring the U.S. flag. These stamps depict Old Glory flying at different times of the day, with the changing shapes and colours of the clouds, but always illuminated by the sun. Viewed from a low-angle perspective, the flags draw attention upward to the magic of the sky.

The design of the flag dates back to June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress specified 13 horizontal stripes and 13 stars to honour the original colonies. The flag has consistently featured 13 stripes, except between 1795 and 1818, when there were 15 stripes for the 15 states in the union. The Flag Act of 1818 standardized the number of stripes at 13 and added a star for each new state. In 1916, president Woodrow Wilson proclaimed June 14 Flag Day, which Congress officially designated in 1939.

Since its inception, the flag has had 27 versions as more states joined the union. The current 50-star flag was created when Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, debuting on July 4, 1960, and is the longest-used design in the nation’s history. The new definitives, denominated as Forever stamps, are available in booklets and panes of 20, and coils of 100, 3,000 and 10,000. The stamps were designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler, with illustrations by Laura Stutzman.


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