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New Four Flags Issue - Feb 22  
 

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Posted 02/13/2012   10:56 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add lpmiller to your friends list  Get a Link to this Message
Linn's Stamp News for Feb 27th has an article on the new Four Flags issue. The article indicates that initially there were to be two formats - 20 stamp pane and a coil of 100 released on Feb 22. They suggest that there will be a change to include another pane (one by Ashton Potter and one by Sennet Security) and a total of three coils (AP, AV, and SS). This totals up to 20 stamps with four different designs.

The January issue of Linn's also indicated that there would be an ATM format. Don't know if this is still in the plan, but would run the number up to 24 total stamps of the four designs.

Don't so much mind the two pane stamps that I can get at the post office as singles, but it's going to be a bear to buy the coils if USPS only sells them in strips of 25 as they've done in the past. That would mean shelling out $33.75 (plus postage) so I can get the 12 total stamps I want ($5.40). I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Posted 02/13/2012   11:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
You're partially correct. The stamps are to be issued on February 22, 2012. There will be two double-sided booklets of 20 (APU) and (SSP) varieties and three coils of 100 in varieties by (APU), (AVR) and (SSP). As far as has been reported in USPS materials (i.e. The Postal Bulletin) there are no plans (yet) for an ATM Booklet. It has been suggested that a format of 4 face different stamps may not lend itself well to an ATM format of stamps if one of each variety needs to be represented.

Anyway, what is going to be a problem for collectors of the coil varieties is that the USPS will NOT be selling them in strips of 25. Whenever there is a coil issue of 100 stamps or less, collectors must buy the entire roll of 100. So if a collector really wants all three coils, they will have to spend $135 for three coil rolls of 100 each (plus another $18 for the two booklets of 20 stamps each) for a total cash outlay of $153!

Do keep in mind that the stamps are not being issued in panes at all. There are two booklet varieties and three coil varieties announced thus far.

What I find problemmatic is that the stamps are not going to be readily available at local post offices (according to the Postal Bulletin). In fact, post offices are advised that they will NOT be receiving automatic shipments of these stamps as they do for commemorative issues. Post Offices are further advised to deplete their existing inventory of stamps and reorders will be of the Lady Liberty/Flag stamps until Stamp Distribution Offices inventories are depleted. It seems that only then will the 4 Flag Stamps start to be fully distributed to local post offices nationwide.

For us collectors, it likely means that if we want early copies of the 4 Flag Stamps, we'll have to order them from Stamp Fulfillment Services in Kansas City. With stamp production scheduled to be 1 billion (with a "B") stamps of each variety, there will eventually be 5 billion of these stamps in circulation of various varieties, which will almost certainly make them one of the most commonest stamps on the market once full distribution gets underway.

Incidentally, I understand there are going to be special postmarks available in Freedom, PA, Liberty, MO, Equality, AL and Justice, IL to "play" on the four face different stamps being made part of this series.
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Edited by wt1 - 02/13/2012 11:52 pm
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Posted 02/14/2012   10:32 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add lpmiller to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow! What you've described sounds even worse than I imagined. $153! Thanks for the info about Stamp Fulfillment Service, but it's not that I need them immediately. It's more about the way collectors get absolutely burned with the way USPS conducts business. It appears that the least expensive way for a collector to acquire the stamps they need to just to simply admit defeat and purchase them for double their price on eBay. Does anyone have a better way? I'd like to hear it.
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Posted 02/14/2012   6:49 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Sound like we need 25 of us to go in on a coil.
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Posted 02/14/2012   7:06 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
That could be a plan. Unless, of course, you're a plate number coil collector.

According to the Postal Bulletin:

1. The (APU) coil will be on non-phosphored paper, printed in 4 colors, with each coil to begin with the "Freedom" image. What I don't understand is reference to "plate block number on first stamp of the form below the "Freedom" image." What does that mean? How often will the plate numbers appear on the stamps?

2. The (AVR) coils will be on pre-phosphored paper, printed in 4 colors, with plate number to appear on bottom right corner below stamp image on every 20th stamp. Essentially, this means there will be only 5 plate numbers on every coil of 100.

3. The (SSP) coils will be on pre-phosphored paper, printed in 5 colors, with plate number to appear on every 32nd stamp, meaning that there will be only 3 plate numbers on every coil of 100.
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Edited by wt1 - 02/14/2012 7:08 pm
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Posted 02/15/2012   11:08 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add apastuszak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No offence to plate number collectors, but I never understood the appeal of plate blocks. To me, any kind of selvege that doesn't have unique artwork and/or descriptive text is just unappealing.

If there are non-plate collectors that want to go in on a coil, let me know.
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Edited by apastuszak - 02/15/2012 11:09 pm
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Posted 02/22/2012   08:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
In addition to the usual "First Day of Issue" cancellations for the 4 Flag Stamps, it seems the USPS is now marketing "First Day of Sale" Cancellations from the following locations:



For anyone interested, they can be ordered for $3.56 from the USPS at this link:

https://store.usps.com/store/browse...catC_CP_FDOS
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Posted 02/22/2012   09:34 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add khj to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Over a week old -- and I would have thought LB1 would have jumped into this flag thread by now!

k
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Posted 03/01/2012   8:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Coinsearcher83 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I really like the integration of "Forever" on these stamps. Makes the word look less out of place.
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Posted 03/05/2012   3:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
For anyone interested in the varieties of the Four Flag Booklets, I just received an example of each and have scanned them together below:



The top example is (APU) in four colors; the bottom is (SSP) in 5 colors. The three distinct differences that can be seen with the naked eye is that:

1. The (APU) example at the top has a distinctly lighter color blue, particularly noticable in the title strip at the right; the (SSP) uses a blue that is noticably darker.

2. The (APU) example at top is cut just slightly larger than the bottom (SSP) pane.

3. The (APU) example at top has a larger left margin (approx. 2 mm) before the flag image appears on the stamp; by comparison, the bottom (SSP) variety has a narrower left margin (approx. 1.5 mm).
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Posted 03/30/2012   9:44 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I purchased a booklet of Four Flags at the contract post office where I work. They had stripped out the interior paper strips in order to fold the booklets, so I had no information on the printer from the plate number. However, from wt1's scan of the booklets I was able to determine the booklet I purchased was printed by APU. The APU printed booklets have a wider gap between the bar code number and the bar code. I confirmed my analysis using design image measurements of the Four Flag stamps provided in a thread on another stamp forum. Thanks, wt1.
Regards, Robert
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Posted 05/14/2012   07:06 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add oldtriguy1960 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Trainwreck,

What is that other forum where you got the design measurements?
I am starting to get some used copies of these and am starting to try to sort them. I just have single stamps not entire booklets.

Thanks,

Dave N.
<><
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Posted 05/14/2012   08:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What is that other forum where you got the design measurements?

The Virtual Stamp Club. There are a couple of threads with information regarding the Four Flags definitives:
Thread title: Four Flags (2012), msg #s 44373.72 and 44373.73
Thread title: 2012 Scott Catalogue Numbers, msg # 45542.3
Good hunting, Robert
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Posted 05/14/2012   09:42 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add I_Love_Stamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Stick with the classics and at least you'll (at least most of the time) know what your getting into. Yes, I'm a bummer today! I think the USPS is unscrupulous in conducting their business. They use the guise that stamps are ment to deliver the mail and collectors are incidental THEN turn around and claim that they cater to the collector...just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. OK I'm climbing down off my soapbox now...lol


here is a frankenbanana to cheer you up some -
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Posted 05/14/2012   09:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wt1 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Also, don't forget that on June 1, 2012, an ATM pane of these stamps are going to be issued. You can't get them at your local post office (only through SFS or your local ATM) and no one has yet clearly identified to me which stamps are being omitted (i.e. an ATM pane of 10 v. 4 face different varieties of the stamps means that two stamps will have to be omitted).

If they are consistent with other ATM panes, the primary tell-tale sign of the ATM variety would be a thinner stamp with a thinner backing paper (to better go through the ATM machines) but that's only a guess on my part.

Here are the specifications:

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Posted 05/14/2012   3:38 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Trainwreck to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The latest on-line Linn's Stamp News (May 28, 2012) says the June 1 booklet will be a convertible booklet of 10. Now that I think of it, ATM panes are panes of 18.
Regards, Robert
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