2018 50¢ Flag Act of 1818
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Letter Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: June 9, 2018
First Day City: Appleton, Wisconsin
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
On June 9, 2018, the USPS honored the 200th anniversary of the Flag Act of 1818. This act shaped the design of every US flag since that time.
It was Peter Wendover, a US Congressman from New York, who recognized the need for an updated flag. The current design had 15 stars and stripes, but five more states had been added to the Union.
Wendover turned to Samuel Reid, an experienced navy officer, for advice. Reid designed three flags for Wendover to present. They decided to return to the original 13 stripes and to put 20 stars on a blue field. In this way, a new star could easily be added for each new state admitted into the Union.
Taking one of Reid’s designs, the “People’s Flag,” to the House, Peter Wendover encouraged his colleagues to remember the soldiers from the Revolutionary War. He stated, “In their memory, and to their honor, let us restore substantially the flag under which they conquered.” The bill passed on April 4, 1818, and was signed into law by President James Monroe.
The Flag Act of 1818 was the stepping-stone for the American flag we know today. With every star and stripe we can look upon the “red, white, and blue” with pride.