1976 13¢ North Carolina
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.
North Carolina State Flag
The belief that America’s most celebrated document, the Declaration of Independence, is the first of its kind expressing America’s break with England is false, according to some North Carolina historians. They say the nation’s most famous document was written a year after the true first separation from England was declared – the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.
The Mecklenburg Declaration, called “Mec Dec,” was signed on May 20, 1775, in reaction to the Battles of Concord and Lexington. The group wrote, “...we the citizens of Mecklenburg County, do hereby... absolve ourselves from all bonds to the British Crown.”
Controversy arose about which document came first. The “Mec Dec” was reconstructed following an 1800 fire, and there are many similar phrases to the 1776 Declaration. It was published in the Raleigh Register newspaper in 1819. Most historians believe the “Mec Dec” arose from faulty memories of the participants, who in trying to recreate it after the fire confused it with the Mecklenburg Resolves, a different document protesting British tyranny that was written 11 days later. Still, the North Carolina State Flag proclaims May 20th, 1775, as an important day in state history.
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.