Monday Morning Brief | New Flag stamp varieties

February 08, 2016 08:42 AM

Watch as Linn’s Stamp News associate editor Michael Baadke reports on the newest United States Flag stamp, and points out the key identifying features that will help you tell the different major varieties apart.

Full Video Transcript: 

Welcome to the Monday Morning Brief for February 8, 2016.

Late last week, the United States Postal Service issued a new Flag forever stamp that you should be seeing pretty frequently on your letter mail.

I say that because the stamp was issued in five formats — that’s three booklets and two coils — and altogether, the Postal Service ordered an initial print run of 4.6 billion forever stamps.

Don’t tell me that people aren’t sending postal mail anymore.

The stamp shows a photograph of the flag as taken by Emmanuel Faure, and was designed by Greg Breeding and Terrence McCaffrey of the U.S. Postal Service. This is a project that’s been in the works for quite some time, because McCaffrey retired from the Postal Service more than five years ago.

Two different printers worked on this issue, and that means you have a number of different varieties that you can look for.

Banknote Corporation of America printed a booklet of 10, a booklet of 20, and a coil of 100. On every stamp from Banknote, you’ll find the letters USPS in microprinting along the flagpole, just under the lower left corner of the flag.

Ashton Potter USA printed one booklet of 20 and one coil, and on those stamps you’ll find the USPS microprinting near the right edge of the stamp on the second white stripe.

Now, at least to start out with, the Postal Service has not listed separate order numbers for the two different booklets of 20, or for the two different coils of 100. That means if you want to collect examples of each one, you might want to take your magnifying glass to the post office and just see what they have on hand.

With 4.6 billion stamps sent to press, I don’t think you should have too much trouble finding examples of the different major varieties.

We’ve got more details about these new Flag stamps in the February 22nd issue of Linn’s Stamp News, and you can always find out more about the latest stamps at Linn’s online, and if you follow Linn’s on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For Linn’s Stamp News and the Scott catalogs, I’m Michael Baadke.