By Michael Baadke
A variety of hybrid tea rose known as peace will be featured on the next United States forever stamp.
The nondenominated (50¢) stamp shows a close-up detail of a photograph of the peace rose flower. The stamp was designed by U.S. Postal Service art director Ethel Kessler using an existing photograph taken by Richard C. Baer.
The stamp will be issued in a double-sided pane of 20, a format that the USPS refers to as a booklet. It appears that no press sheet will be issued, but Linn’s was unable to secure confirmation from the Postal Service.
The stamps are offset-printed by Ashton Potter, one of the two contractors that print and process postage stamps for the Postal Service.
Although a first-day ceremony appears to be in the planning stages, there has been no announcement with confirming details from the Postal Service as of one month before the scheduled release date.
The stamps are being issued in Shreveport, La., which is home to the Gardens of the American Rose Center and the national headquarters of the American Rose Society.
The Postal Service said that the Peace Rose forever stamp celebrates one of the most popular roses of all time.
“The peace rose revolutionized hybrid tea roses with its unique coloring, hardiness, and disease resistance,” the Postal Service added.
The San Francisco Gate described the original peace rose variety, “The ivory-yellow blossoms with pink-dusted margins unfurl from pointed, gold and fuchsia buds crowning 1½- to 2-foot stems of glossy, deep-green leaves.”
Additional variations of the peace rose have been developed in the 73 years since the flower was first publicly introduced.
According to multiple sources, the peace rose was a hybrid developed in France by Francis Meilland between the two world wars.
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The Missouri Botanical Garden states that “Shortly before Germany invaded France in 1939, Francis Meilland sent budwood of this rose to rose growers in several different countries to insure this new rose would not be inadvertently destroyed by the war.”
Known formally as Rosa “Madame A. Meilland,” the flower came to be known by different names, but “peace rose” became its accepted title to honor the peace that came with the end of World War II.
First-day covers manufactured and sold by the Postal Service will bear one of two pictorial postmarks in black or in color.