2018 Statue of Freedom Set
While the nation was gripped by Civil War, every available man and resource was needed for the Union effort. However, despite wartime constraints, President Lincoln insisted work continue on the US Capitol dome.
Construction had begun on the new, larger US Capitol dome in 1855. Six years later, when the Civil War broke out, President Lincoln did not want work on the project to stop. He claimed, “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.” After eight years of construction and $1 million invested into the project (ten times the original budget), the dome was completed.
On December 2, 1863, the Statue of Freedom was placed on top of the dome. Fanfare included a 35-gun salute – one for every state of the divided Union – and a return salute from 12 forts surrounding Washington, DC. The pageantry, and the Statue of Freedom, were visible from nearby Virginia – the seat of the Confederate States of America.
As the war continued the next 18 months, and in the years since, the Statue of Freedom has looked out over the nation’s capital – a symbol of freedom, American strength, and perseverance.
The 2018 $1, $2, and $5 Statue of Freedom stamps were the first US postage stamps to feature optically variable ink. This ink can be seen on the stamps’ denomination number and appears to change from green to gold when tilted.