1976 13¢ North Dakota
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 Dakota State Flag
Bismarck became the capital of the North Dakota Territory in 1883. But many residents felt the capital should be moved to the more populous eastern part of the territory. So the official territory records were relocated to Jamestown, which was selected as the new location of the government.
Once a frontier town with a rough reputation, Bismarck sat on the edge of the Badlands, where many outlaws hid out. Theodore Roosevelt hunted criminals as deputy sheriff during the time he lived in the area, which now bears his name as a state park. A town like Bismarck wasn’t ready to accept such a loss in status as territory capital. A group of citizens rode 100 miles through a blizzard, broke into the Stutsman County Court House in Jamestown, took the state records, and brought them back to Bismarck – while avoiding a posse. The records remained there until the state legislature agreed to reconvene in Bismarck.
With the statehouse built there in 1883-84, the issue of Bismarck as capital was effectively over. It remained the seat of government when North Dakota gained statehood in 1889. Still, a small protest remains, as the legislature has never voted to confirm Bismarck as the official state capital.
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.