U.S. # 4798
2013 46¢ Flag in Autumn
A Flag for All Seasons
The United States joined the United Kingdom, France, and Russia to battle Germany and other Central Powers during World War I. As the fall of 1918 approached, the four-year war had caused enormous suffering across Europe. In Germany, civilians threatened to revolt over severe food shortages. With military defeat also a near-certainty, Germany agreed to an armistice. The agreement was signed early on November 11, 1918, and scheduled to take effect at 11:00 a.m. to allow time for the news to reach troops in far-away fronts.
Few Europeans had suffered as much as the people of France. Yet each year of the war, Parisians had shown their appreciation for America’s help by flying U.S. flags on the 4th of July. When news of the truce reached the city, its streets swelled with a jubilant crowd waving red, white, and blue – the colors of both nations’ flags. As night fell, French singers appeared on the balcony of the Place de l’Opera building to lead the people in the national anthems of the Allies, including The Star Spangled Banner.
The following year, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th Armistice Day. Known today as Veterans Day, the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” is a reminder of the men and women who sacrificed all for liberty.
Laura Stutzman of Maryland created the patriotic gouache illustrations from her own photographs for the Flag for All Seasons stamps. Each of the four stamps in the issue pictures the U.S. flag, as seen from below, with the trees and sky representing the season.
Value: 46¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: August 8, 2013
First Day City: Milwaukee, WI
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Avery Dennison
Method: Photogravure printing in double-sided panes of 20 (convertible booklet format)
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 11 ½ x 11 ½
Quantity Printed: 1,250,000 stamps
Though America’s flag had previously been used many times as a secondary design element, it wasn’t the subject of a stamp until 1957 (U.S. #1094). Since the 1980s, it has become a regular practice to issue stamps picturing the U.S. flag in a variety of scenes, including different locations and times of day.