World Stamps

American flag symbolizes different subjects on new foreign stamps

May 2, 2021, 9 PM

New Stamps of the World — By Denise McCarty 

The American flag is not only a popular subject on United States stamps; it appears on numerous new issues from around the world as well.

For example, Guernsey Post selected the U.S. flag to appear on one of four stamps featuring the knitted shirt named after the island.

In this case, the flag represents one of the many countries that import guernseys.

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This 73-penny stamp features a red guernsey with a miniature flag flying from a knitting needle, which is stuck into a ball of red yarn. Inscribed next to the flag is “The humble Guernsey. Living in America.”

The bailiwick’s name and a silhouette of the queen appear in white on the top of the shirt, and one sleeve bears the emblem of Sepac, the Small European Postal Administration Cooperations.

Sepac selects an annual theme for a multination series of stamps, and this year’s theme is local crafts.

The tourism website provides a brief history of the guernsey: “Traditional Guernsey jumpers [sweaters] were originally knitted for local fishermen to protect them from the elements, knitted with close stitches from tightly twisted wool to withstand sea spray and rain.

“Knitted by the fishermen’s wives, the pattern was passed down from mother to daughter through the generations and, while the jumpers are now machine-knitted, the final stitching together is still completed by hand today.

“The navy sweater dates back to the 16th century. Trade links established in the 17th century saw the Guernsey being adopted by coastal communities around the British Isles — as well as in the military.

“They were first widely used in the rating uniform of the 19th Century British Royal Navy and it is said that they were worn at the Battle of Trafalgar.”

The other stamps in the set feature similar designs, but do not include the Sepac emblem.

The 44p denomination pictures a black guernsey with the flag of Guernsey; the 59p stamp shows a green guernsey and Australia’s flag; and a light tan guernsey and the Japanese flag are depicted on the 80p stamp.

Joseph Smith designed the stamps. Joh. Enschede of the Netherlands printed them by offset in sheets of 10.

Each stamp includes a second set of interior perforations surrounding the guernsey, so that it can be separated into a shirt-shaped stamp.

According to an inscription in the selvage of the pane, Guernsey Woolens supplied the images of the guernseys shown on the stamp. The pattern used for each sweater and where the pattern originated also are provided.


The U.S. flag is shown prominently on a French stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I.

The United States severed diplomatic relations with Germany Feb. 3, 1917, and officially declared war April 6. On June 25, the first American troops arrived in France.

United States soldiers marching with the flag are pictured in the center of the new stamp. Gen. John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, is shown in the upper right, and a U.S. ship flying the flag is in the lower right. An airplane is depicted in the upper left.

La Poste issued this €I.30 stamp June 23, part of a WWI centennial series that began in 2014.

Andre Lavergne designed and engraved the new stamp. Philaposte printed it by intaglio in sheets of 48.


Several recent stamps honoring or portraying U.S. presidents also depict the U.S. flag.

On May 5, St. Vincent issued 10 stamps (a pane of six and a pane of four) to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of President John F. Kennedy. The issue has a secondary theme: Kennedy’s 1960s space program, with the goal of landing an American on the moon by the end of that decade.

One of the stamps shows Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin saluting the flag on the moon. Neil Armstrong, the commander of Apollo 11, took the photograph. The same photograph is shown in the selvage of the pane of six. In addition, the flag is pictured on the left side of both panes.

A stamp marking the 100th anniversary of the Espionage Act, passed June 15, 1917, shows President Woodrow Wilson and the flag. This 40,000-leone stamp from Sierra Leone was issued in a souvenir sheet of one. The flag also is shown in the designs of three of the four 6,600-leone stamps issued in a pane.

Liberia issued a $45 stamp April 28 showing President Donald J. Trump, the 45th president, in the foreground and the flag in the background.  A pane of 15 issued Feb. 28 shows all presidents from Herbert Hoover to Trump.

Photographs of Trump’s inaugural parade and ball are reproduced on a pane of three stamps issued April 17 by Tanzania. The stamp designs show the flag and members of both the president’s family and the family of Vice President Mike Pence.