1996 Flag Over Porch
- Same design was used to produce pane and booklet stamps
- First self-adhesive coil stamp sold to consumers
Category of Stamp: Definitive
Value: 32¢, First-Class Mail rate
First Day of Issue: May 21, 1996
First Day City: Washington, DC
Quantity Issued: 2,900,000,000
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method/Format: Photogravure. Coils of 100, from cylinders of 480 subjects (20 across, 24 down)
Perforations: Die Cut 10.9
Reason the stamp was issued: This stamp was produced in response to the demand for self-adhesive stamps. The same design had been used on stamps issued in 1995.
About the stamp design: The design was created by commercial illustrator Dave LeFleur. He was given the assignment to show a flag hanging from the front porch of a Victorian-era house. The flag is in the foreground and a portion of the porch and house is in the background. The house was not based on an existing house but one in the artist’s imagination.
About the printing process: This was the first self-adhesive coil stamps produced for public use. Previously, they had been used by the Postal Service in making first day covers.
Special design details: The self-adhesive coil stamp has a small red year date.
First Day City: There was no official ceremony for the First Day of Issue of this Flag Over Porch stamp. A self-adhesive booklet stamp with the same design was issued on the same day.
The coil stamp was sold over a month before the official issue date. This may have been because the USPS originally announced the stamp would be issued on April 3, 1996.
Unusual thing about this stamp: The 1996 self-adhesive coil stamp exists with two different gauges of die cutting. This stamp measures 10.9, while #2915B measures 9.7.
History the stamp represents: Featuring a Victorian-style house behind a waving American flag, this 32-cent stamp was produced as both a self-adhesive and a normally gummed version. The original plans for releasing both versions of the stamps on May 19, 1995, were changed due to the huge demand from the public for the easy-to-use self-adhesives. As a result, the self-adhesive version was released a month earlier than scheduled, on April 18, 1995.
The Flag Over Porch stamp also marked the first time a self-adhesive stamp was issued with simulated perforation die cuts, so that it appeared to be perforated.
In 1996 and 1997, additional Flag Over Porch stamps were issued in self-adhesive format to meet consumer demand. Produced as a coil and booklet, these stamps mark the first time the self-adhesive format was printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing since 1974. The 1997 release differs from the 1996 Flag Over Porch printed by Stamp Venturers only in the perforation measurement and in the absence of a liner or backing paper. Instead of a peel-off backing paper, the front of the linerless stamps received a special silicone coating to prevent the self-adhesive stamps from sticking to one another when coiled.