2017 21c Uncle Sam's Hat
Uncle Sam and his famous stars and stripes hat have personified the United States since the early 1800s. While his exact origins are uncertain, the American values he has come to represent are ironclad.
The name “Uncle Sam” first came about in the War of 1812. But it wasn’t until Thomas Nast’s political cartoons in the 1870s that the personification became well-known. Nast took qualities from Abraham Lincoln and used them to draw Uncle Sam in his cartoons. Nast also introduced Uncle Sam’s famous outfit – striped pants, a tailcoat, and a tall hat.
Uncle Sam was first illustrated as we know him today during World War I. His most famous appearance was on a recruitment poster created by James Montgomery Flagg. It featured a stern image of Uncle Sam declaring, “I Want YOU For U.S. Army.” The poster was printed over four million times and was so successful that it is still a national icon over 100 years later.
Thanks to Nast and Flagg’s illustrations, Uncle Sam has become instantly recognizable to every American. As long as the U.S. holds true to the values he represents – liberty, justice, and equality for all – Uncle Sam will always be a symbol of the American spirit.
Issued: February 18, 2017
First Day City: Mesa, AZ
Type of Stamp: Additional Ounce Rate
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Method: Offset, Microprint
Quantity Printed: 100,000,000