With this new 2019 stamp, the Postal Service celebrates the American flag – the most recognizable symbol of the nation – on the 150th anniversary of the first U.S. stamps to depict Old Glory, the 10¢ yellow and 30¢ ultramarine & carmine Eagle, Shield and Flags Pictorial issues of 1869 (Scott 116 & 121). The photographic image on the new horizontally-formatted Forever stamp features a U.S. flag on the flagpoles near the end of Chicago’s Navy Pier, proudly waving in a May breeze. The photograph was taken by UPSP art director Antonio Alcalá.
Like all other U.S. Forever stamps, the new stamp will pay the current basic first-class domestic letter rate, which will become 55¢ on the day these stamps are issued — a 5¢ hike in the price of the same service prior to January 27, 2019. The first U.S. Flag definitive stamp was issued to pay the first-class letter rate in 1963, the 5-cent Flag Over White House, Scott 1208. Today, 56 years later, it takes 11 of these to mail a letter. The 10 percent increase is the biggest hike in the cost of mailing a U.S. letter since the increase from 29 cents to 32 cents — 28 years ago in 1991.
On December 21, 2018, it was announced that the new Forever Flag stamps would be issued in two formats, produced by two security printers, for a total of four potential collectible varieties: self-adhesive booklets of 20 stamps produced by security printers Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU); and Banknote Corporation of America (BCA); and self-adhesive coils of 100 stamps also by APU and BCA. Technical specifications have been provided for each format and printer.
Customers have until May 27, 2019, to obtain Forever (55-cent) U.S. Flag booklet and coil stamp first-day-of-issue postmarks by mail. They may purchase and affix the new stamps in whatever configuration is required to meet the new one-ounce first-class letter rate of 55 cents to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in a larger envelope with the required postage addressed to:
FDOI – U.S. Flag 2019 Stamp
USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services
8300 NE Underground Drive, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64144-9900
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the FDCs through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark on up to 50 covers, after which there is a 5-cent charge for each additional postmark.
Customers may purchase other stamps and philatelic products through the Postal Store at usps.com/shop, by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic catalog or at post offices nationwide.