1994 G-rate Old Glory
- Issued as a non-denominated stamp
32¢ First-Class Rate
First Day of Issue:
December 13, 1994
First Day City(s):
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Gravure Printing (7-color Andreotti gravure webfed press)
Coils of 100
9.8 (Goebel stroke perforator)
Why the stamp was issued:
The USPS issued this G series general-use stamp for the new first-class rate that would take place in 1995.
About the stamp design:
This stamp was designed by Ronald Sharpe who was the first African-American Banknote Designer at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
Special design details:
The USPS had a few other design ideas that would match the G rate stamp such as a goose, grapes and even George Washington, but they settled on “Old Glory.” A collector in the Midwest discovered a roll that started with six imperforate stamps, followed by five perforated stamps, and ended with the rest of the 89 stamps imperforate.
About the printing process:
The stamp was printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on their 7-color Andreotti gravure webfed press (601). This Italian-made press was acquired by the BEP in 1970 and was the workhorse making all the multicolored stamps around that time period.
First Day City:
Most definitive stamps that don’t receive a first day ceremony get issued in Washington, DC which is home of the United States Postal Headquarters.
About the G-rate Series:
The USPS issued G-rate stamps to aid in the transition of a new postal rate. All, except two, G-rate stamps picture the US Flag with “Old Glory” in text above it, the other two are blue doves. They released eighteen different versions of G-rate stamps. These came in six different formats, in five varied rates, from five different printers! These include six different sheet stamps, six coils, four booklets, and two self-adhesives. This made the G-rate stamps printed by more printers and in more formats that any previous rate change stamp.
History the stamp represents:
The US Postal Service started making rate change stamps, or “contingency” stamps as they were known, in 1978 with the A-rate which was fifteen cents. They wanted to make sure they had stamps to fulfill any rate change, gap in prices, or any combination. In early 1981 the B-rate stamps were issued to make up eighteen cents. At the end of 1981 the C-rate for twenty cents was issued. A few years went by before the D-rate came along in 1985. With the E-rate collectors saw a shift from an eagle with the color stamp to the image reflecting the letter, E having an Earth on the stamp in 1988. The F make-up-rate was only four cents and depicted a tulip on the stamp. G-rate was in 1995 and H followed in 1999. Collectors thought they were going to keep going following the rest of the alphabet, but H was where it ended. Many joked that the US Postal Service didn’t want to issue an I-rate stamp, but the reasons behind the end was never clear.