1976 13¢ Missouri
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.
Missouri State Flag
Missouri was once the “Gateway to the West,” a port in the nation’s heartland, and was known as a launching point for westward expansion.
Lewis and Clark were among the first to journey west from Missouri. Traveling along the Missouri River, they encountered numerous grizzly bears – and were the first to document the species.
Traveling on the Missouri River, mountain men and settlers followed their routes to the Pacific Northwest. When gold was discovered in California, prospectors and adventurers flocked to Missouri, where steamboats took them to the Santa Fe Trail. River traffic increased so much during this time that St. Louis became the second-largest port in the country.
In 1908, the Missouri chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution realized that Missouri had no state flag. They formed a committee to design the official flag of Missouri. Committee chairwoman Marie Oliver eventually designed the flag herself, centering the state seal on a field of red, white, and blue. On either side of the Missouri seal, harkening back to the days of Lewis and Clark, are two huge grizzly bears.
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.