American Flag Never Looked So Beautiful

April 18, 2008 

Release No. 08-036 


Images of Flags 24/7 Stamps

High-resolution images of these stamps are available for media use only at:

WASHINGTON, DC —The U.S. Postal Service will issue the Flags 24/7 stamps April 18 at 42 cents. Each of the four first-class stamps features a painting of an American flag flying at different times of the day: sunrise, noon, sunset, and night.

For more than 200 years, the American flag has been the symbol of our nation’s source of pride and inspiration for millions of citizens. In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.

Federal law stipulates many aspects of flag etiquette. In 1942, a code of flag etiquette was established.  The code states in part that the American flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset every day, weather permitting, but especially on days of national importance like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veterans Day. Also, federal law requires that “when a patriotic effect is desired,” the flag can be flown through the night if properly lit. Although compliance is voluntary, public observation of the code’s measures is widespread throughout the nation.

Today the American flag waves proudly during the day outside government offices and schools, and it stands watch day and night over the Capitol in Washington, DC, and at other public and private sites around the country.

Each of the four first-class stamps features a painting created by Laura Stutzman of Mountain Lake Park, MD. “I’m a huge fan of painted flags,” says Stutzman, who used gouache on illustration board to capture the “living, breathing force” of her subject.

The Flags 24/7 stamps will be available for purchase in Post Offices, on, and by calling 800-STAMP-24 starting Friday, April 18.

Flags 24/7 Stamps Philatelic Fact Sheet

Philatelic Products

There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

  • 785963, First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.20
  • 786063, First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.20
  • 786163, First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.20
  • 786863, First-Day Cover (Set of 4), $3.20

How to Order First-Day Covers

Stamp Fulfillment Services also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-STAMP-24 or writing to:

Information Fulfillment
Dept 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City MO  64121-9014 

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, by telephone at 800-STAMP-24, or at the Postal Store website at They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Flags 24/7 stamps
Special cancellations
PO Box 92282
Washington DC 20090-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 19, 2008.

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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government,, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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