2014 49¢ Flag With 4 Full and 2 Partial Stars
Red, White, and Blue
The U.S. Postal Service describes this stamp as a “modern interpretation of a flying flag” with six stripes and “handful” of stars. Each of the four stamp designs has a different number of complete stars. They were issued in coils of 10,000 for business use.
William Driver took to the sea at the age of 14 and was made master of his own ship at the age of 21. As he prepared to sail, Driver’s mother presented him with a 24-star flag that measured 17- by 10-feet. Driver dubbed the flag “Old Glory.”
Years later, the death of his wife forced Captain Driver to relinquish his seafaring career. With three small children to raise, he settled in Nashville, Tennessee, near his brothers. In 1838, Driver married a young Southern girl, who would bear nine children.
Deeply patriotic, Driver flew Old Glory on holidays by stretching a rope from his attic window to a tree across the street. In 1860, the family sewed ten additional stars and a small white anchor to the flag.
Civil War divided the Driver family. William remained loyal to the Union, but the rest of his family sided with the Confederates, with one son dying at Perryville. Nashville residents were also sympathetic to the South, and seizing Driver’s famous flag became an obsession. Although rebels threatened to kill him and burn his house down, Driver refused to surrender it.
The Union Army retook Nashville in 1862, and were surprised to see an elderly man approach with a coverlet. “Old Glory,” which had been carefully sewn inside, was hoisted over the Tennessee state capitol building as tears stained William Driver’s face
The stamps were designed by Ethel Kessler. Her inspiration came from patriotic pins and flags of the 20th century. She has been an art director with the U.S. Postal Service since 1997 and has been involved in the creation of about 80 stamps.
49¢ Red, White & Blue, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: April 25, 2014
City: San Francisco, CA, at the WESTPEX Stamp Show
Printed By: CCL Labels Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 Vertical