US Stamps

Spanish-American War flag covers produced to inspire patriotism

May 28, 2024, 10 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Having lived abroad for part of my childhood and admired the American flag, I have lived a line from the short story “The Fourth in Salvador” by O. Henry:

“You can’t appreciate home till you’ve left it, money till it’s spent, your wife till she’s joined a woman’s club, nor Old Glory till you see it hanging on a broomstick on the shanty of a [United States] consul in a foreign town.”

A shortened version of this quote can be found on the back of the 1992 Consular Service Bicentennial envelopes (Scott UO86-UO87) used by the United States Department of State to send issued passports to travelers. Figure 1 shows the front of the 75¢ envelope (UO87) and the O. Henry quote from the top flap on the back.

My love of the flag led me to collect Spanish-American War flag covers, such as those shown in Figures 2 and 3.

These illustrated envelopes were created by commercial interests to encourage patriotism ...

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