06 November 2012

Freedom. Liberty. Equality. Justice. (Forever?)


Law (or convention?) in the United States mandates that when images of postage stamps are printed, a line is drawn through the denomination (I believe it's also required that the images be produced at a size larger or smaller than the actual stamp).  These alterations were originally created to prevent people from cutting out stamp images and using them for postage.  They would seem to be hopelessly outdated now that stamps are phosphor coated, and the modifications to the images are virtually useless in the face of modern image-editing software.  Still, it continues to be done, as in this image from the Virtual Stamp Club

For this new (September) issue of the "Four Flags" stamps, the result is a bit bizarre.  "Forever stamps" are a form on non-denominated postage first introduced in 2006.
These stamps are always sold at the current first-class postage rate. They are always valid for the full first-class postage regardless of any rate increases since the stamps' purchase (unused "forever" stamps purchased in April 2007 therefore are valid for the full 45 cent first-class postage rate, despite having been purchased for 41 cents).
In the image of these stamps (though not on the stamps themselves), the obliteration of the "denomination" becomes an obliteration of the word "forever" which in juxtaposition with the words "freedom, liberty, equality, justice" delivers a rather odd (if unintentional) message on this election day.

4 comments:

  1. Even if unintentional, the symbolism is poignant. These are concepts no one should take for granted. 'Forever' is not guaranteed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i am assuming this is not a comment on yesterday's election outcome...???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I posted it before the outcome was known.

      Delete
  3. As well intended I agree totally with the first poster. It is not forever, only as long as it's informed citizen's fight to keep it that way. Tic toc.

    ReplyDelete

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