1976 13¢ New Hampshire
State Flags Issue
Issue Date: February 23, 1976
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 8,720,100 panes of 50
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Photogravure
New Hampshire State Flag
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was a thriving center for shipbuilding by the time of the American Revolution. When the Continental Congress decided to create a Navy, the first three ships were built on John Langdon's shipyard on an island in Portsmouth Bay.
In 1776, the crew at Langdon's shipyard laid the keel for the USS Raleigh, the first warship of the U.S. Navy. Two months later, the vessel was launched into immediate action against England. After two years of service, the Raleigh ran aground and was seized by the British, a painful loss to New Hampshire and the young nation.
Langdon's shipyard didn't stay in New Hampshire long, either. The facility is still in Portsmouth Bay, but in 1820 the island became part of Kittery, Maine, as the new state entered the Union. That was long after the New Hampshire legislature voted in 1784 to make the Raleigh and the shipyard on the island the focus of its state seal.
The topics shown on the seal weren't the only things to move beyond New Hampshire's control. Artists often altered the image, adding people or casks of rum. The state finally put an end to the artistic license in 1909, with a law that formalized the design.