2019 55¢ Star Ribbon
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: March 22, 2019
First Day City: Oakbrook Terrace, IL
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 25,000,000
Throughout our history, the American flag has gone by many names. The "Stars and Stripes," "Old Glory," and the "Star-Spangled Banner" are some of the most well-known. One lesser-known name is the "Flower Flag," which dates back to 1784.
A year after the end of the American Revolutionary War, the United States was allowed to trade with China for the first time. Being able to import Chinese tea and goods was an exciting development for the new nation. In exchange, the US would bring 30 tons of ginseng, a spice highly prized in China.
On August 23, 1784, the American merchant vessel Empress of China sailed into the port of Canton, unfurling the Stars and Stripes for the first time in China. The locals were excited by the new ship and its flag that was "as beautiful as a flower." Some sources also claim the reference was to the flag's stars, which resembled Chinese flowers. The ship became known as the "flower flagship" and the flag itself the Flower Flag.
The phrase became widespread in China and soon the US became known as the flower flag country. Flower flag is still used today to refer to our countrymen and some other American objects, showing how respected and revered our flag is around the world.