1976 13¢ Maryland
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
Issued as part of the ongoing Bicentennial celebration, the 13¢ State Flags pane was a first in U.S. history. This was the first time a pane with 50 face-different stamps was issued. Each state is represented by its official flag, with the stamps arranged on the sheet in the same order each state was admitted into the Union.
Maryland State Flag
Maryland is the only state whose flag bears the arms of an English Lord. The colony’s founder, George Calvert, adopted a coat of arms that included his father’s yellow and black colors and his mother’s white and red colors.
The first Maryland flag only displayed the yellow and black checks. Although it was never officially adopted, the flag was widely accepted and quickly identified with Maryland.
In 1861, the Civil War started and Maryland’s loyalties were divided. Virginia was a major trade partner and many sympathized with its cause. At the same time, the state bordered Washington, D.C., and it was once part of Maryland. Thousands of sympathizers crossed into Virginia and joined the Confederacy. To identify themselves as Confederate-Marylanders, they carried flags that included both colors.
After the war, the process of reconciliation began. Maryland’s 5th Regiment was made up of men who fought on opposing sides during the war. It adopted the flag with both colors to show that Yankees and Rebels could work together again. The flag became a symbol of the state. In 1904, the flag was officially adopted as the Maryland state flag.
The Bicentennial Series
The U.S. Bicentennial was a series of celebrations during the mid-1970s that commemorated the historic events leading to America’s independence from Great Britain. The official events began on April 1, 1975, when the American Freedom Train departed Delaware to begin a 21-month, 25,338-mile tour of the 48 contiguous states. For more than a year, a wave of patriotism swept the nation as elaborate firework displays lit up skies across the U.S., an international fleet of tall-mast sailing ships gathered in New York City and Boston, and Queen Elizabeth made a state visit. The celebration culminated on July 4, 1976, with the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
The U.S.P.S. issued 113 commemorative stamps over a six-year period in honor of the U.S. bicentennial, beginning with the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission Emblem stamp (U.S. #1432). As a group, the Bicentennial Series chronicles one of our nation’s most important chapters, and remembers the events and patriots who made the U.S. a world model for liberty.