The Secret Language of Floral Love Stamps

Nothing says “romance” better than flowers.  In 1982, the U.S. Postal Service released its first floral Love stamp with the word “LOVE” spelled out in colorful blossoms. The design is simple and beautiful. But could those lovely blooms also hold secret meanings?

1982 FlowersFor centuries certain flowers have conveyed particular sentiments, from religious to romantic. The Victorians were especially adept at communicating with flowers and raised the floral bouquet to new romantic heights by using a language of flowers to proclaim feelings that could not be spoken aloud.

The flowers on the 1982 stamp may be stylized, but the blooms send a message nontheless. The pansies, for example, say, “I’m thinking of you,” while the blue flowers signify calming beauty and tranquility, as well as trust. The gerbera daisies represent innocence, and the pink flowers convey joy. The message of this arrangement could reflect the sender’s feelings for the recipient, whose presence offers joy, beauty, and tranquility.

Have you ever used flowers—or floral stamps—to send a message to a loved one?

Environmentalist Lady Bird Johnson To Be Immortalized on Stamp

Forty-seven years ago today, Congress signed into law the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, known as “Lady Bird’s Bill” because of Lady Bird Johnson’s keen interest and active support of its passage. We are delighted to announce today that the U.S. Postal Service will celebrate this and other of Mrs. Johnson’s achievements with the release of the Lady Bird Johnson Souvenir Forever stamps sheet.

The dedication ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place at 11 a.m. on November 30, 2012, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas.

“The Postal Service is proud to issue this historic Forever stamp honoring a beloved First Lady who worked tirelessly to make the United States a more beautiful place,” says Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy lives on along our nation’s roadsides, and urban parks and trails, which she so diligently worked to preserve and beautify, and now on a U.S. postage stamp to commemorate her contributions for forever.”

To learn more about Lady Bird Johnson (1912–2007) and events celebrating the centennial of her birth, visit the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial website. You can preorder the souvenir sheet now for delivery in early December by visiting The Postal Store or by calling 800-STAMP-24.

Preserve the Spirit of Spring with the Cherry Blossom Centennial DCP Keepsake

Missing the spirit of the Cherry Blossom Centennial stamps? (We are, too!) Spring is still in full bloom here in the nation’s capital, and now you can keep it alive forever with the

This gorgeous collector’s item includes a sheet of 20 Cherry Blossom Centennial (Forever®) stamps and two envelopes inscribed with the lovely color postmark for the commemorative stamps. The unique color postmark design features a tree branch laden with cherry blossoms as the striking element and includes the date and location of issue: March 24, 2012, Washington, DC 20066.

A wonderful addition to any collection, this blossoming keepsake makes a great gift, too! Quantities are limited and are sure to go quickly, so get yours today!

Cherry Blossom Centennial Stamps in Their Natural Environment

On Friday, Stephen Kearney, Manager of Stamp Services for the U.S. Postal Service (right), and Phil Jordan, art director for the Cherry Blossom Centennial stamps (left), appeared on WTTG Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., for an interview in anticipation of the new Forever® stamps issuance.

The beautiful panoramic scene spread across these two stamps looked even more picturesque out on the Tidal Basin with their live counterparts in the background. Spring has arrived in the nation’s capital, and these stamps are the perfect way to capture the spirit of this vibrant, lively season.

The Cherry Blossom Centennial (Forever®) stamps are now available in Post Offices nationwide and online at the Postal Store. As Stephen Kearney said, 100 million copies of the stamps were printed, but they go quickly, so get yours today!

Posted in Interviews, Stamp Issuances | Tagged 2012 program, art director, capital, Cherry Blos, cherry blossoms, , , Japan, Phil Jordan, Stephen Kearney, Tokyo, trees, Washington DC

Wrapping Up National Wildlife Week with Pollinators

In the spirit of springtime, we’ve decided to cap off National Wildlife Week with a look back at the four 2007 Pollination stamps. The stamps’ intricate design echoes and emphasizes the ecological relationship between pollinators and plants and hints at the biodiversity necessary to ensure the future viability of that relationship.

Pollination—the transfer of pollen within flowers, or from one flower to another of the same species—is the basis for fruit and seed production. Insects and other animals, such as birds and bats, provide pollination services for the majority of the world’s food crops and flowering plants. In turn, the plants provide their pollinators with food and other nutrients in the form of energy-producing nectar and protein-rich pollen. Many plants also serve as hosts for the larvae of insect pollinators.

Populations of some animal pollinators appear to be declining. Over the past few decades, scientists and growers—farmers and orchardists, as well as backyard gardeners—have all noted this downward trend. As a result, many concerned organizations and individuals, along with some government agencies, are working to encourage pollinator research, education, and awareness. They are also developing conservation and restoration projects aimed at ensuring measurable and documented increases in the numbers and health of both resident and migratory pollinating animals.

Many things can be done to help promote the health and vitality of pollinator populations. Among them are: planting flower gardens that provide a continuous succession of blooms throughout the season and utilize native plants; using nontoxic methods to control pests and weeds; protecting nontarget organisms such as pollinators from inadvertent exposure to pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and other chemicals; and setting aside and protecting habitats suitable for wild pollinators.

Pollination is a partnership, and the interlocking design of the Pollination stamps reinforces the interconnectedness of nature.  Strengthening that connection is one goal of The Pollinator Partnership, an outreach program of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), a cooperative conservation partnership of more than 120 organizations and individuals working across North America to support pollinators. The U.S. Postal Service and NAPPC recognize the importance of plant/pollinator relationships.

Thanks for sharing National Wildlife Week with us. What kinds of wildlife would you like to see on a future stamp? Let us know in the comments.