1992 Flag Over White House
· Issued in honor of 200th anniversary of the White House
· Pictures the Executive Mansion from an angle not used on US stamps before
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Set: Flag Series
Value: 29¢ First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: April 23, 1992
First Day City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 5,561,196,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method/Format: Intaglio (in coils of 100, 500, and 3,000
Perforations: 10 vertically
Reason the stamp was issued: Though this stamp is a definitive, it was issued to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the laying of the White House’s cornerstone on October 13, 1792.
About the stamp design: Bureau of Engraving and Printing artist V. Jack Ruther was tasked with picturing the White House from a viewpoint that hadn’t been used on previous stamps. He chose a photo showing the east and north sides of the building as the model for the stamp. The White House was depicted in blue to express cool morning light. This is the third stamp to picture the White House with a flag.
Special design details: There were discussions about whether to have a flag flying on the White House roof because the flag would be so small on the stamp. It was decided to have the flag on the roof, this meant there were actually two flags on each stamp.
About the printing process: The printers were concerned the red and blue ink would bleed into each other. To minimize this, two ink rollers were used for the blue ink and one for the red. It was later determined one blue ink roller could be used without causing the colors to bleed.
First Day City: The First Day of Issue ceremony took place at the White House in Washington, DC. President George Bush and First Lady Barbara were part of the ceremony. Because of scheduling difficulties, the event was not open to the public.
More fun facts: Full rolls of imperforate stamps were found, printed from two plates.
About the Flag Series: The first US stamp picturing the American flag (#1094) was issued on July 4, 1957. It caused a controversy because some saw cancelling a stamp with an image of the flag as disrespectful. Others were happy with the prospect of seeing this national symbol on a stamp. Two years later, another flag stamp, #1132, was released picturing the 49-star flag marking the entrance of Alaska into the Union. The following year, a new flag stamp celebrated the addition of Hawaii as the newest state. By this time, the US flag had become one of the most popular US stamp subjects. Since then, new flag stamps have been issued almost every year.
History the stamp represents: The design for the executive mansion was chosen as a result of a contest. James Hoban’s concept won the 1792 contest. Over the next eight years, Hoban oversaw the construction of the White House. A lime-based whitewash was applied to protect the sandstone exterior from moisture. During the War of 1812, the British set fire to the White House. Hoban supervised its rebuilding.