1976 13¢ Kentucky
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.
Kentucky State Flag
During the Revolutionary War, Kentucky was a “dark and bloody ground.” Settlements were frequently under attack by British and Native American forces. Refusing to back down, Kentuckians formed a militia to fight for their freedom.
Kentucky was a border state at the start of the American Revolution. Secluded in the western wilderness, it was difficult to defend from attack. Native American war parties, led by British Rangers, sacked outposts and massacred hundreds of colonists. By the end of 1776, fewer than 200 settlers remained in the colony.
Kentucky pioneers were hardened by years of surviving in the wilds. Fighting alongside men such as Daniel Boone, the militia used the hit-and-run tactics of their enemy. After six years of bloody battles, Kentuckians secured the American frontier.
Over 150 years later, the Kentucky Historical Society hired art teacher Jessie Cox Burgess to design the state flag. Emblazoned on the flag was the state motto, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” The motto came from the lyrics of an American Revolutionary War song and forever reminds people of the brave settlers of Kentucky.
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.