On the 200th anniversary of the Flag Act of 1818, the U.S. Postal Service has released a first-class stamp designed by @Issue founder Kit Hinrichs.
The Flag Act of 1818 gave the country the basic design rules that dictate the look of the flag today– namely, 13 stripes representing the Original 13 Colonies and one star for each state in the Union. This 1818 Act superseded the Flag Act of 1794, which decreed that each state in the Union be represented on the flag with one stripe and one star. The folly of the 1794 design quickly became apparent when Kentucky and Vermont joined the Union and the stripes had to be made thinner and thinner and the stars smaller and more cramped. With more states slated to join the Union, it quickly became clear that the American flag would soon become a mess, with the number of stars and stripes changing so frequently that the public won’t recognize it as an official emblem, much less an iconic symbol of the U.S.
This stamp commemorating the Flag Act of 1818 displays 20 stars, the number of states in the Union in 1818. It is the second in a set of Forever flag stamps designed by Kit.