New postage rates go into effect today, and as customary, the Stars and Stripes is featured prominently. The stamp shown at left depicts an American flag waving on a flagpole against a tan background. The design of the flag was adapted from an undated postcard in the ephemera collection of art director Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, Arizona, a popular and prolific stamp designer for the Postal Service.
This year, U.S. Postal Service issued the Forever stamp, which will always be valid as First-Class postage on standard envelopes weighing one ounce or less, regardless of any subsequent increases in the First-Class rate.
The stamp art depicts the Liberty Bell, which is perhaps the most prominent and recognizable symbol associated with American independence. Over the years, the historic significance of the bell’s message has transcended our national borders, and today the Liberty Bell is an international icon of freedom. Replicas of the Liberty Bell exist in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. In Texas, the replica resides at Texas A & M University.
The stamp art features a computer-generated image of the Liberty Bell by nationally acclaimed artist Tom Engeman of Brunswick, Maryland. His previous projects for the Postal Service include stamped cards for Carlsbad Caverns National Park (2002), Ohio University (2003), and Columbia University (2003), as well as the 2003 American Eagle definitive stamp, and the National World War II Memorial stamp issued in 2004.
The Liberty Bell has long been a popular motif for U.S. stamps, and putting the Liberty Bell on a forever stamp means this design will be around, well—forever.
Stamp images © 2007 USPS. All Rights Reserved.