Celebrity appearances, music and ceremonious stamp unveilings — all in the name of state and national pride — took place last week as the third set of the Flags of Our Nation stamp series was released.
Featured in the third set are the state flags of Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi and Missouri, and the Stars and Stripes. Last year, the first two sets in the series included the Stars and Stripes and the state and territorial flags of Alabama through Kansas.
Postal Service Deputy Postmaster General and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Donahoe dedicated the stamps at the American Philatelic Society’s stamp show in Pittsburgh.
"The flags depicted in nine of these stamps we dedicate today represent contributions these states have made to the development and growth of our nation," he said at the unveiling.
State-specific events were held as well.
Horse jockey Pat Day helped unveil the Kentucky Flags of our nation stamp in Louisville.
In Kentucky, the stamp was unveiled simultaneously in Frankfort with Gov. Steve Beshear and USPS Board of Governors member Ellen Williams, and in Louisville with world renowned jockey Pat Day.
"It’s a constant reminder that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the Horse Capital of
the World," said Beshear of the stamp which features Thoroughbred horses and the state flag.
At the conclusion of the Louisville event, hundreds of environmentally-friendly helium balloons, complete with hemp strings, were released to the delight of children attending the event.
Artist Tom Engeman of Bethany Beach, DE, working under the direction of stamp designer Howard Paine of Delaplane, VA, created the highly detailed flag portraits on the stamps. Past designs created by Engeman include the National World War II Memorial stamp (2004) and the nation’s first Forever stamp (2007), featuring the Liberty Bell.
217 balloons, representing the number of years Kentucky has been a state, were released after the stamp ceremony in Louisville.
Stamps depicting Montana through North Dakota and the U.S.A. Purple Mountains Flag stamp will be issued in 2010; Northern Marianas through Tennessee in 2011; and, Texas through Wyoming and the U.S.A. Fruited Plain Flag stamp will conclude the series in 2012.
The Flags of our Nation stamps can be purchased at Post Offices, at www.usps.com/shop
or by calling 800-STAMP-24.
The 44-cent First-Class stamps are available in coils of 50.
How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Flags of Our Nation Stamp Set 3