By Michael Baadke
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library will host the March 5 first-day ceremony for the Illinois Statehood forever stamp.
The nondenominated (50¢) stamp will be dedicated during a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at 112 North Sixth St., in Springfield, Ill.
The Feb. 2 announcement by the United States Postal Service did not include information about ceremony participants.
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Although the event is free and open to the public, the Postal Service has an online website to reserve admission to the event. The RSVP site is expected to go live Feb. 8.
“This stamp celebrates the 200th anniversary of Illinois statehood,” the Postal Service reported in its announcement. “Known as the Prairie State, Illinois became the 21st state Dec. 3, 1818.
“The stamp art features an outline of the state map with a series of yellow beams radiating upward like the rays of a rising sun. The colors begin at the bottom with a deep yellow, fading upward to pale yellow and then into pale blue, with increasingly deeper blues rising to the top of the state’s outline.
“The yellows and blues symbolize the dawning of a new day as the state joins the Union. Stars, representing the first 20 states, grace the top of the stamp. The rising sun symbolizes the 21st star.”
The stamp was designed and illustrated by Michael Konetzka, working with USPS art director Antonio Alcala.