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Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Flag Act of 1818

U.S. Postal Service Dedicating a New Forever Stamp Marking the Historic Milestone



With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service is pleased to highlight the 200th anniversary of the Flag Act of 1818, which provided the basic design of the current American flag: 13 stripes symbolizing the original 13 colonies and one star for each state in the union.

The stamp art celebrating this anniversary shows a flag with 20 stars, the number of states in the Union when the Flag Act of 1818 went into effect. Ethel Kessler was art director for the stamp and typography was by Kit Hinrichs. Hinrichs shows a flag with crisp folds and a layering effect that conveys a sense of the dynamism of the young nation. News of the stamp is being shared with the hashtags #FlagActStamp.†


Pat Mendonca, U.S. Postal Service Senior Director for the Postmaster General/CEO


Saturday, June 9, 2018, 11:30 a.m., Central Daylight Time


68th Appleton Flag Day Parade
Houdini Plaza
100 W. Lawrence Street
Appleton, WI 54911

Followers of the U.S. Postal Serviceís Facebook page can view the ceremony live at


Two hundred years ago the Flag Act of 1818 gave us the basic design of the current American flag: 13 stripes and one star for each state in the Union.
Prior to the act, the nationís official flag showed 15 stars and 15 stripes. The expansion of the union to 20 states by 1817 required a rethinking of the flagís configuration. Rather than increasing the number of stripes every time a new state joined the union, the Flag Act reduced their number to 13, signifying the original 13 colonies, and increased the number of stars to reflect the current number of states in the union. The act specified that a new star would be added on the Fourth of July following the admission of a new state.

The United States flag has had 50 stars since July 4, 1960, when a new star was added after Hawaii became the 50th state.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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©2018 U.S. Postal Service.

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