2014 49¢ Red, White, and Blue
Set of 4
The U.S. Postal Service describes this stamp as a “modern interpretation of a flying flag” with six stripes and “handful” of stars. Each of the four stamp designs has a different number of complete stars. They were issued in coils of 10,000 for business use.
The American flag is a reminder of both the hardships and the triumphs of a proud nation. A symbol of independence from England, America’s flag also represents the unity of a nation once torn by civil war.
In 1979, the U.S. flag became an emblem of the Iran hostage crisis, reminding Americans of their captured brothers and sisters half a world away. The impasse began in November, when 53 Americans were taken captive at the American embassy in Iran.
As the confrontation dragged on, Tom Flynn, owner of Hillcrest Memorial Park in Pennsylvania, wanted to remind the world of the situation. Flynn erected a single American flag on his property, surrounded by fifty state flags. He began to add one U.S. flag for each day the Americans were held prisoner – which totaled 444 by the end of the crisis.
The flags still stand today, more than 30 years after the hostages were released. Now known as the Avenue of Flags, the memorial features an eternal flame and a monument dedicated to the eight servicemen who died trying to rescue the hostages. The banners also fly over the new War on Terror Veterans Memorial and nearby Cremation Garden. These flags remind upcoming generations who may face their own hostilities that the ultimate sacrifice is often the price of freedom.
The stamps were designed by Ethel Kessler. Her inspiration came from patriotic pins and flags of the 20th century. She has been an art director with the U.S. Postal Service since 1997 and has been involved in the creation of about 80 stamps.
49¢ Red, White & Blue, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: April 25, 2014
City: San Francisco, CA, at the WESTPEX Stamp Show
Printed By: CCL Labels Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 Vertical