US Stamps

Chief Standing Bear stamp to debut in Nebraska May 12

Apr 25, 2023, 11 AM

By Jay Bigalke

The life of Ponca Chief Standing Bear (circa 1829-1908) is being honored with a United States commemorative forever stamp to be issued May 12.

The issue date is the exact anniversary date of the 1879 landmark court case Standing Bear v. Crook that granted Native Americans civil rights under U.S. law.

An official U.S. Postal Service first-day ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Centennial Mall at the Chief Standing Bear statue between P and Q streets in Lincoln, Neb.

The ceremony is free and open to the public, collectors who wish to attend encouraged to register online with the USPS.

Ceremony participants will include Anton G. Hajjar, vice chairman of the U.S. Postal Service board of governors; Candace Schmidt, chairwoman of the Ponca Tribe; and Judi M. Gaiashkibos, executive director of the Nebraska Commission of Indian Affairs.

The nondenominated (63¢) Chief Standing Bear stamp will be issued in panes of 20. Pictured in the wide right selvage (margin) of the pane is an enlarged version of the stamp artwork created by Thomas Blackshear II. “Chief Standing Bear” is printed in two lines above his head.

“I feel as if Thomas’ portrait conveys the inner soul of this extraordinary man,” USPS art director Derry Noyes told Linn's by email. “I thought the portrait was so powerful and his story so compelling, I decided to blow it up large and place it in the selvage as well to draw the viewer in. It’s hard not to be moved by it.”

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. of Williamsville, N.Y., printed 18 million Chief Standing Bear stamps (900,000 panes of 20) on its Muller A76 press.

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