Stamp Announcement 12-20: Four Flags

USPS supplied artwork

(45¢-Forever) Four Flags
(Avery Dennison)
Self Adhesive Coil of 100 (4 designs)
Scott # 4632a Plate # V1111
Series USPS - NA ~ PNC3 - U.S. Flags Forever
Issue Date & City February 22, 2012, Washington, DC
Nationwide Sale February 22, 2012
Designer Howard E. Paine, Delaplane, VA
Typographer Howard E. Paine, Delaplane, VA
Artist Arnold C. Holeywell
Engraver WRE
Modeler Avery Dennison, Designed and Engineered Solutions
To Press / Initial Quantity Fall 2011 / 1 Billion stamps
Coil Size 100
Printer Avery Dennison (AVR)
Press Dia Nippon Kiko (DNK)
Process Gravure with Microprinted “USPS”
Where Printed AVR, Clinton, SC
Where Processed Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd. (APU)
Plate Size & Interval 480 stamps per revolution / plate # every 20 stamps
Paper Type Prephosphored, Type I
Adhesive Type Pressure Sensitive
Tagging Type Smooth
Die Cut Gauge Serpentine Die Cuts - 10 x 10 Vertically - VP and PV
Colors Yellow, Magenta, Cyan, Black
Image Size (w x h) 0.736 x 0.854 in. / 18.69 x 21.69 mm
Overall Size (w x h) 0.870 x 0.982 in. / 22.10 x 24.94 mm
Back Numbers None
Earliest Known Use February 22, 2012
USPS Order Numbers 788701 Full Coil of 100 - $45.00
788763 First Day Cover - $3.56 (This is probably for a random set of four from one of the three printers)
Official Announcement On February 22, 2012, in Washington, DC, the Postal Service™ will issue a Four Flags First-Class Mail® Forever® stamp (priced at 45 cents), in four designs in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) booklet of 20 stamps (Item 688100) and a PSA coil of 100 (Item 788700).

The U.S. Postal Service® continues its tradition of honoring the Stars and Strips with the issuance of Four Flags. This quartet of stamps features a bright U.S. flag against a white background. A single word appears on each of the four stamps in large letters: Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Justice. Art directed by Howard E. Paine, the stamps feature an illustration by the late Arnold C. Holeywell.

The stamp will go on sale nationwide February 22, 2012.

Security USPS is microprinted on each stamp on the bottom of the lowest white stripe near the right edge of the flag
Note 2012 Date is vertically in the lower right corner.
Distribution: Item 688100, Four Flags First-Class Mail Forever (priced at 45 cents), PSA Booklet of 20 Stamps
Stamp distribution offices (SDOs) and stamp distribution centers (SDCs) will receive their standard automatic distribution quantity for a PSA booklet stamp. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size of 4,000 booklets.
Initial Supply to Post Offices
SDOs/SDCs will not make any automatic distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices should continue to sell existing inventories of the current patriotic booklets, and in addition, the SDOs/SDCs will also continue to ship quantities of Item 679400 (Lady Liberty & US Flag) until inventory depletes. Post Offices requiring quantities of Item 688100 must requisition them from their designated SDO/SDC using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. Post Offices may preorder from SDOs/SDCs through the Stamp Services System (SSS) beginning 30 days prior to the first day of issue. SDOs/SDCs must not distribute this stamp to Post Offices before February 9, 2012.
Sales Policy
All Post Offices should maintain a sufficient inventory level of this item until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder additional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.
Distribution: Item 788700, Four Flags First-Class Mail Forever (priced at 45 cents), PSA Coil of 100 Stamps
SDOs and SDCs will receive their standard automatic distribution quantity for a PSA coil stamp. Distributions are rounded up to the nearest master carton size of 800 coils.
Initial Supply to Post Offices
SDOs/SDCs will not make any automatic distribution to Post Offices. Post Offices should continue to sell existing inventories of the current patriotic coils, and in addition, the SDOs/SDCs will also continue to ship quantities of Item 787900 (Lady Liberty & US Flag) until inventory depletes. Post Offices requiring quantities of Item 788700 must requisition them from their designated SDO/SDC using PS Form 17, Stamp Requisition/Stamp Return. Post Offices may preorder from SDOs/SDCs through the SSS beginning 30 days prior to the first day of issue. SDOs/SDCs must not distribute this stamp to Post Offices before February 9, 2012.
Sales Policy
All Post Offices should maintain a sufficient inventory level of this item until the stamp is officially withdrawn from sale. If supplies run low, Post Offices must reorder additional quantities using their normal ordering procedures.
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™ facility, at The Postal Store® website at www.usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. 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:
Four Flags Stamp
Special Cancellations
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
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 April 22, 2012.
How to Order First Day Covers
The Postal Service 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, online at www.usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
Information Fulfillment
Dept. 6270
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Philatelic Products
There are three philatelic products available for this stamp issue:
  • 688163*, First Day Cover Set of 4, $3.56.
  • 688167*, First Day of Sale Cover Set of 4, $3.56.
  • 788763*, First Day Cover Set of 4, $3.56.
Items with an asterisk (*) will use the 128 barcode from Stamp Fulfillment Services. All other philatelic products will continue to use barcode series A, with the exception of the Yearbook and the Guide Book.