US Stamps

Flags and barns unite on four new U.S. coil definitive stamps April 14

Mar 29, 2022, 10 AM
Barns decorated with images of the United States flag are the subject of four coil stamps to be issued April 14 in Halifax, Pa. The “PRESORTED STANDARD” inscription in the bottom margin of each stamp indicates that a permit is required to use them on mail

By Charles Snee

Two subjects that have appeared on recent United States stamps, the U.S. flag and barns, will unite on a quartet of nondenominated (10¢) presorted standard-rate coil stamps to be issued April 14.

Halifax, Pa., will serve as the first-day city for the new Flags on Barns coil stamps. Postal Service spokesman Jim McKean told Linn’s Stamp News that a USPS-sponsored first-day ceremony is not planned.

Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd., one of the Postal Service’s two contract printers, printed the Flags on Barns coil stamps in rolls of 3,000 and 10,000. The print quantities are 30 million stamps (10,000 rolls) and 1 billion stamps (100,000 rolls), respectively.

The stamps may be ordered from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City, Mo. As a service to collectors, Stamp Fulfillment Services will offer both formats of the Flags on Barns coil stamps in strips of 500 and strips of 25 with plate number. The item numbers for these smaller multiples are listed in Linn’s 2022 U.S. stamp program on page 28 of this issue.

Stephanie Bower of Seattle, Wash., who specializes in architectural illustration, illustrated and designed the Flags on Barns stamps. Antonio Alcala served as art director.

“[Bower] used pencil and watercolors on watercolor paper to create the original stamp art,” the Postal Service said.

“Each stamp features a barn with a large American flag painted on one side. The barns are set in landscapes inspired by the seasons and different regions of the United States.”

On the Postal Service’s preliminary artwork for the stamps, shown here as a strip of four, the scenes picture (from left to right) barns in spring, summer, fall and winter.

The stamps are horizontal in format, meaning they will have vertical serpentine die cuts at left and right and straight edges at top and bottom.

Plate numbers consisting of the letter “P” followed by five single digits will appear in the bottom margin on every 24th stamp. The “P” is shorthand for Ashton Potter, and each digit represents one of the five colors used to print the stamps: cyan, magenta, yellow, black and Pantone Matching System 7 C cool gray.

The “PRESORTED STANDARD” inscription in the bottom margin of each stamp indicates that a permit is required to use them on mail. The stamps are intended for use on bulk mailings by authorized nonprofit organizations.

Collectors can use these and other service-inscribed stamps on regular mail by completing USPS Form 3615, Mailing Permit Application and Customer Profile. When filling out the form, be sure to check the box labeled “Precanceled Stamp Authorization.”

The completed form must be submitted at your local post office. Mail franked with service-inscribed stamps must be presented at the counter for postmarking and processing.

To read more about the new Flags on Barns stamps, subscribe to Linn’s Stamp News.

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