Happy Independence Day, America!

We know you’re celebrating the nation’s birthday with parties and fireworks today, but we’ve got a bit of trivia to stoke your patriotism. Do you know how the U.S. flag received its distinguished nickname of Old Glory? We did some digging and found out!

The first American flag to don the name “Old Glory” was made by Captain William Driver in 1824. He proudly flew the handsewn flag on his ship in which he circled the globe twice. Displaying it on patriotic holidays thereafter, Driver gave the sea-weathered flag a name befitting its role as a symbol of liberty and justice.

USPS00STA026KThe original flag Driver made contained 24 stars on a field of blue. In 1861, he remade the tattered flag with 34 stars, reflecting the addition of ten states to the Union sincFlagsSeasons-2013-Forever-block4-BGv2e his first flag was created. The story of Old Glory, which survived the Civil War in Confederate Tennessee sewn into a quilt, became a legend and the name was soon adopted for all American flags.

Celebrate Independence Day this year with the patriotic A Flag for All Seasons Forever® stamps. They are available and in Post Offices nationwide, or you can call (). Like the flag pictured on them, these stamps are good forever.

Celebrating the Stars and Stripes on Flag Day

It’s Flag Day and we’re showing our love for the red, white, and blue by proudly “displaying” the four beautiful A Flag for All Seasons Forever® stamps—and by looking into the history of this patriotic holiday, of course!

Celebrated every year on June 14, Flag Day commemorates the Continental Congress’ adoption of the Stars and Stripes as America’s national flag on June 14, 1777. Bernard J. Cigrand, a school teacher in Waubeka, Wisconsin, is credited with the first observation of this important day. On June 14, 1885, Cigrand displayed a small American flag on his desk and had his students write essays on the flag and its significance.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson officially named June 14 Flag Day, establishing a national tradition of honoring this powerful symbol. Each year, parades and ceremonial recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance ring in the holiday as millions of Americans fly the flag outside their homes and businesses.

What will your community be doing to celebrate Old Glory today?

The four are a great way to show your patriotism. They can be purchased in Post Offices nationwide or online at usps.com/stamps. You can also order them by calling ().

Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Respecting the Flag

FlagsSeasons-2013-Forever-block4-BGv2Just a few weeks ago, USPS issued . These four stamps show the U.S. flag at full staff in each season of the year, but did you know there’s a lot more ceremony to respecting Old Glory than making sure she can withstand the elements? In preparation for Flag Day (which is this Friday), we did a little research.

The National Flag Code—the basis for a 1942 federal law that provides specific rules for the use and display of the flag—includes a long list of guidelines for how citizens should show their respect for the Stars and Stripes. Several of these rules are well-known to most, but some are more obscure. Here are five things you may not know about handling the flag:

  • The flag should never be used as a covering for a ceiling.
  • The flag should never be displayed with the union down, expect as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.
  • The flag should never be used for advertising purposes in any manner whatsoever.
  • No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform (except in the case of military personnel, firefighters, and police officers).
  • The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

Check out the United States Code for more information about the proper ways to display the Stars and Stripes in every season.

Each envelope in this set features a different, affixed A Flag For All Seasons (Forever®) stamp and an official First Day of Issue color postmark. Click the image for details.

A Flag for All Seasons Forever® stamps are currently and in Post Offices nationwide. You can also order them by calling ().

Patriotic Stamps Show U.S. Flag in Every Season

Happy Friday everyone! We are very pleased to announce that the 2013 flags stamps, A Flag for All Seasons, are now available in coil format. (They will be released in sheets later this month.)

FlagsSeasons-2013-Forever-block4-BGv2Show your patriotism and love for the Stars and Stripes with these lovely little beauties. You can find them now in Post Offices around the country, or .

These stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate, which is currently 46 cents.

A Flag for All Seasons Unveiling Tomorrow

FlagsSeasons-2013-Forever-block4-BGv2You are invited to join us tomorrow, Friday, May 3, at the Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History in Weston, Massachusetts, for the release of the new . The museum is located on the campus of Regis College, about 30 minutes from downtown Boston.

The stamps will be dedicated by Boston Postmaster James Holland. Also in attendance will be the Country School of Weston and the U.S. Postal Service Color Guard.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking, which is also free, is available in front and in back of the museum. The ceremony will begin at noon; exhibits open for viewing at 11 a.m.

We hope to see you there!