Arago: First Class & 39-cent Flag & Statue of Liberty

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First Class & 39-cent Flag & Statue of Liberty

The Lady Liberty and Flag definitive series paid the 39-cent domestic first-class postage rate that was in force from January 8, 2006, until May 14, 2007. Undenominated first-class versions of the stamp were released on December 8, 2005, before the new postage rate had been decided. The 39-cent versions first appeared on January 9, 2006, in a coil format. There were no First Day of Issue ceremonies, but collectors could request First Day cancels by mail.

Both versions of the stamp eventually became available in numerous formats (panes, coils, and booklets; self-stick and water-activated adhesives; offset and gravure printing methods). Three private security printing firms produced the stamps. Collectors have identified seventeen major varieties of this series, ten undenominated and seven denominated. In addition, coil stamps with the 39-cent denomination have been widely forged.

The series was designed using photographs taken by Carl Purcell, a travel journalist and member of the Society of American Travel Writers, during a visit to Liberty Island in the early 1990s. Purcell's original configuration called for the statue to be semitransparent so that the flag would show through slightly, but USPS art director Terrence McCaffrey modified the statue to make it opaque.

Reference:

Amick, George. Linn's US Stamp Yearbook 2005. Sidney, Ohio: Linn's Stamp News, 2006. pp. 286-306.

Amick, George. Linn's US Stamp Yearbook 2006. Sidney, Ohio: Linn's Stamp News, 2007. pp. 268-288.


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