Two hundred years ago the Flag Act of 1818 gave us the basic design of the current American flag: 13 stripes and one star for each state in the Union. This issuance celebrates the anniversary of that seminal legislation with stamp art showing a flag with 20 stars, the number of states in the Union when the Flag Act of 1818 went into effect. Five new states were added to the Union –Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana, and Mississippi.
First Day of Issue Envelope
The “first day of issue” stamp was released on June 9, 2018 in Appleton, Wisconsin. The limited edition of 500 signed envelopes was introduced on Flag Day, June 14, 2018 at the San Francisco Center for the Book, in concert with The Flag on Paper exhibition.
Prior to the Flag Act of 1818, the nation’s official flag showed 15 stars and 15 stripes. The expansion of the Union to 20 states by 1817 required a rethinking of the flag’s configuration. Rather than increasing the number of stripes every time a new state joined the Union, the Flag Act reduced their number to 13, signifying the original 13 colonies, and increased the number of stars to reflect the current number of states in the Union. The act specified that a new star would be added on the Fourth of July following the admission of a new state. The United States flag has had 50 stars since July 4, 1960, when a new star was added after Hawaii became the 50th state.
© 2018 Studio Hinrichs