4¢ Father Flanagan
Great Americans Series
Issue Date: July 14, 1986
City: Boys Town, NE
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Engraved
Color: Blue violet
In 1917, Father Edward Flanagan took in eight neglected and orphaned boys and began Father Flanagan's Boys Home. Today known as "Boys Town," it houses 450 boys and 20 girls and is a complete city with its own zip code, schools, churches, and recreational facilities. Presently, seventy-five additional "Boys Towns" have been established in eighteen states. Flanagan is pictured on the 4¢ Great Americans stamp.
Issued between 1980 and 1999, the Great Americans definitive series features 63 designs, making it the largest set of face different Regular Issue stamps issued in the 20th century. One stamp honors a couple (Lila and Dewitt Wallace) while the remaining 62 commemorate individuals.
The series is characterized by a standard definitive size, simple design and monochromatic colors. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced most of the stamps, but some were printed by private firms. Several stamps saw multiple printings. The result is many different varieties, with tagging being the key to understanding them.