Originally launched on Sept. 26, 1980, the Flag Series honours U.N. member states. A set of four stamps was issued each year from 1980-89, and additional sets were issued in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2007, 2013 and 2014. The most recent flag-themed issue—part of the UNPA’s Coin and Flag Series—was issued on Feb. 6, 2015. Other Coin and Flag Series sets were issued in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
“This will be the last issue with 24 stamps,” wrote Edward Hynes, then officer-in-charge of the UNPA, in a 2015 issue of Fascination, the UNPA’s journal for collectors of U.N. stamps. “For future issues, when there are 8 new member states, a new sheet will be released.”
HERE WE ARE
On Feb. 3, UNPA will issue two sheets of 16 stamps consisting of eight new flag stamps. All of the flags issued have had flag design changes since they were first issued.
The 2017 Flag folder will contain one single of each of the Flag Series stamps.
- Albania – New flag issued in 1992
- Benin – New flag issued in 1990
- Bulgaria – New flag issued in 1991
- Comoros – New flag issued in 2002
Both Sheet 52 and Sheet 53 have print runs of 352,000 stamps (22,000 sheets). The issue was designed by Sergio Baradat and printed by Canada’s Lowe-Martin Group using offset lithography.
There are 16 stamps, each measuring 40 mm x 30 mm (horizontal) with a perforation gauge of 13.3, on each of the two sheets, both of which feature four separate flag designs. Each stamp is denominated $1.15 USD.
- Congo – New flag issued in 1991
- Ethiopia – New flag issued in 1996
- Georgia – New flag issued in 2004
- Iraq – New flag issued in 2008