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Waving the flag.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

Few stamp collectors these days collect every stamp the U-S issues. There are just too many. Instead, some collect a subject, or even the varieties of a single issue.

Flag stamps are a fascinating possibility. U-S non-collecting mailers always want a flag stamp at the current rate, so the Postal Service keeps them in stock. For more than 50 years, every time the letter rate changes, there's a new flag stamp design… even if it's a Forever stamp.

The U-S flag made cameo appearances on stamps as far back as the 1860s, but it wasn't featured until 1957, with its first appearance in full-color. That was a 48-star flag, by the way.

Even one of today's flag stamp designs would make a good collection, because each is produced in different varieties: Rolls of stamps, booklets, and sheets. The latest are even produced in special sheets for A-T-M's. There are differences in each variety… and finding all of them will keep you busy for awhile…until the next flag is raised.

I’m Lloyd de Vries of The Virtual Stamp Club. For more on stamps and stamp collecting, and an in-depth look at collecting U-S flags on stamps, visit virtual-stamp-club-dot-com.

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