US Stamps

Time to fly like an eagle for May cartoon caption contest

Apr 24, 2023, 8 AM
The cartoon caption contest image for May is the 1989 25ยข Eagle and Shield self-adhesive stamp. Entries must be received by May 26 for a chance to win a prize.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Recent surveys in the news have shown that patriotism is less important to the American public than it was just a few years ago. This makes me wonder about the future of stamp design content.

Among my favorite stamps of this genre is one of the earliest self-adhesives: the 25¢ Eagle and Shield stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1989. (Scott 2431).

What might the eagle, a powerful symbol of the United States, say about the state of our nation if it could speak?

While we may tend to think of all eagles as being the same, there are 60 different species.

These birds of prey are remarkably intelligent and impressive to see in flight. For instance, bald eagles can have a wingspan tip-to-tip of up to 8 feet. Half of its body mass is made up of about 7,000 feathers.

Eagles are so imposing that 25 countries use images of them on their national symbols in flags, coats of arms and stamps. So, the eagle is a philatelist’s dream.

Let’s use the 25¢ Eagle and Shield stamp as the cartoon caption contest stamp for May. Get fierce, spread your wings and tell me what you think the eagle might be saying about patriotism, philately, politics, war or any other theme that occurs to you.

Entries with a touch of humor or irony stand the best chance of winning the contest.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension). Entries must reach me no later than May 26.

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