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The Postal Store®

U.S. Flags (2024)

Series: U.S. Flags

First Day of Issue Date: June 14, 2024

First Day of Issue Location: Keystone, SD

About This Stamp

The Postal Service continues its tradition of celebrating the U.S. flag with these stamps in booklets of 20, and coils of 100, 3,000, and 10,000.

Four stamps show the U.S. flag majestically waving at different times of the day. While the shapes and colors of the clouds change, the sun is always shining on the flag. The flags, shown from a low-angle perspective, draw attention upward, toward the magic of the sky. The illustrator painted the designs using gouache on illustration board.

Stars and Stripes on the U.S. flag's design date to June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress specified 13 horizontal stripes and 13 stars to honor the original colonies. The 13 stripes have appeared on every version of the flag except from 1795–1818, when there were 15 stripes for the 15 states in the Union. The Flag Act of 1818 standardized the number of stripes as 13 and stipulated that a star would be added for each new state. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing June 14 as Flag Day, which was officially designated by Congress in 1949.

Since the first flag, there have been 27 versions as more states have entered the Union. The current flag was created when Hawai‘i was added as the 50th state in 1959, with the 50-star flag debuting on July 4, 1960. The current design is the longest used in the country’s history.

Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps with illustrations by Laura Stutzman.

The 2024 U.S. Flags stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. These Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.

Stamp Art Director, Stamp Designer

Ethel Kessler

Ethel Kessler is an award-winning designer and art director who has worked with corporations, museums, public and private institutions, professional service organizations, and now, the United States Postal Service.  

After earning a B.F.A. in visual communications from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Kessler worked as a graphic designer and project manager for the exhibits division of the United States Information Agency. Her work was distributed internationally on subjects such as Immigration, Entrepreneurship, Renovation of American Cities, and the Bicentennial of 1976. She was also responsible for exhibits in Morocco, Botswana, and El Salvador. 

In 1981, she established Kessler Design, Inc., for which she is creative director and designer. Clients have included the Clinton Government reorganization, the Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic Television, the National Park Service, and the American Institute of Architects.

She has been an art director for the U.S. Postal Service’s stamp development program for more than 25 years. As an art director for USPS, Kessler has been responsible for creating more than 500 stamp designs, including the Breast Cancer Research stamp illustrated by Whitney Sherman. Issued in 1998, the stamp is still on sale and has raised more $98 million for breast cancer research. Other Kessler projects include the popular and highly regarded Nature of America 120 stamp series, a collaboration with nationally acclaimed nature illustrator John Dawson, the 12-year Lunar New Year series with Kam Mak, the American Filmmaking: Behind the Scenes 10 stamps issued in 2003, a 2016 pane of stamps celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and the 2023 stamp honoring Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And many, many others. 

Stamp Illustrator

Laura Stutzman

Laura Stutzman graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in Visual Communications. Her career began as a staff illustrator with the Pittsburgh Press in their promotion department. After moving to Washington, D.C., she worked as an illustrator in advertising and design until forming an illustration studio in 1984 with her husband Mark Stutzman, the artist of the Elvis Presley stamp (1993). Laura Stutzman's work has appeared in varied applications from print advertising for clients like National Geographic and CBS to a television animation for PBS. During her forty-year career, Stutzman's work has been featured in newspaper and magazine editorial publications for USA Today, the Washington Post, and an array of trade publications. With Random House, McMillan Publishing, Simon & Schuster, and Thompson/Gale, she has collaborated on book covers and fully-illustrated children's books. Stutzman has provided art for several U.S. Postal Service® stamps painted in her signature medium, gouache on board. Her first designs for the Postal Service, Flags 24/7 (2008), were followed by A Flag for All Seasons (2013). Most recently Stutzman designed and illustrated the stamp U.S. Flags (2022).

First Day of Issue Ceremony

First Day of Issue Date: June 14, 2024
First Day of Issue Location: Keystone, SD