By Molly Goad
Three high-denomination stamps featuring the Statue of Freedom were dedicated June 27 at a first-day ceremony in Bellefonte, Pa. The event took place during the American Philatelic Society’s annual Summer Seminar on Philately at the American Philatelic Center.
Denominated $1, $2 and $5, the three stamps each feature the same illustration of the statue of Freedom from the top of the U.S. Capitol dome.
APS Director Scott English served as the master of ceremonies, and shared his emotional connection to the Statue of Freedom.
On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, English was in the Rayburn building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. As news of Flight 77’s crash into the Pentagon came to light, the offices on Capitol Hill were evacuated.
“In the midst of all that chaos, there stands the Statue of Freedom,” he said. “And that was in my eyeline for hours that day as I was trying to make sense of what was going on.”
English said this stamp serves as a reminder that in war and peace, we have to appreciate the freedoms we’ve been given.
The speakers included Linn’s own Dollar-Sign Stamps columnist Chad Snee, who said his love of U.S. dollar denominated stamps, “the postal equivalent of boxing’s heavyweight,” began in the mid-1970s.
Snee shared tidbits of his early years of collecting, which was when the Americana series of definitive stamps was found on much of the country’s mail.
“As a result, one of my first collecting objectives came into focus: assembling a complete, basic set of these stamps,” he said.
Snee was hired by Linn’s in 1999, where he was able to share his affinity for these stamps in a column titled Dollar Signs. The feature morphed into Dollar-Sign Stamps in 2014, and continues to be a staple.
“I look forward to writing about the Statue of Freedom stamps as they spread out from this esteemed, historic location, to shepherd parcels and packages to locales across the United States and around the world,” Snee said.
Upcoming Bradley University freshman and Central Atlantic Stamp Dealers Association Fellow, Ian Hunter, spoke about what these new stamps mean for collectors and admired the stamp’s design.
“… The artist, Greg Breeding, was able to achieve a modern, almost minimalist look while maintaining the warm, engraved crosshatchings so evocative of classic stamps,” he said.
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Also in attendance to dedicate and unveil the stamps was Mike Golemboski, USPS manager of Post Office Operations, Western PA District.
Area high school student Maya Fulton sang the National Anthem, and Bellefonte Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1600 presented the colors.
USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the new stamps. The $1 and $2 stamps are issued in panes of 10, and the $5 stamp are issued in a pane of four.