This week, the Postal Service issued four new Presorted Standard stamps featuring patriotic rural scenes. These Flags on Barns stamps are intended for business mail and are sold in self-adhesive coils of 3,000 and 10,000.
The flag is a symbol of endurance and hope, and barns reflect farming culture that allowed the country to grow and thrive. Together, these two iconic images depict the best of rural America.
Painted flags can be found on barns in almost every region of the United States. People have many reasons for painting flags on barns, houses and other structures, including patriotism, encouragement in times of national crisis, public acknowledgement of the heroics of local veterans and first responders or simple enjoyment of the beauty of Old Glory adorning a vintage building. Some painted barns have even become tourist attractions, drawing visitors from around the United States and from other countries.
Illustrator Stephanie Bower used pencil and watercolors on watercolor paper to create the original art for these four stamps. Each of the four barns features a large American flag painted on one side. The striking colors of the flag make a bold statement against the weathered wood of the barns.
The barns are set in landscapes inspired by the seasons and different regions of the United States. Backed by tall trees, a white gambrel-roofed barn sits next to a field of tulips blooming in a Pacific Northwest spring. Hot, dry summer fields and a fiery sunset highlight an old-style barn typical of the Western United States. A red gambrel-roofed barn stands out against a background of trees in vivid fall colors. A white dairy barn is set in the snowy fields of a Midwestern winter, with bare trees in the background.
The words “USA” and “Presorted Standard” appear along the bottom of the stamps.