Virgin Islands flag featured on new U.S. postage stamp


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ST. THOMAS - The U.S. Post Office is holding an event Tuesday to launch the new Virgin Islands flag stamp.

The new 45-cent "forever" stamp is part of the Flags of Our Nation stamp series and bears the V.I. flag and a sailfish jumping out of the water.

At the event, people can get special postmarks of the new stamp to take home as a keepsake.

The Virgin Islands flag stamp is the last one to be released in the 60-stamp Flags of Our Nation series.

The dedication of the V.I. flag stamp is being held on Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Friendship Day.

"Our flag tells a wonderful story and, now, so will this stamp," District Manager for the Postal Service's Caribbean District Steven Hernandez said in a prepared statement.

The dedication ceremony is at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Aubrey C. Ottley Post Office Building in Estate Thomas. The event is free and open to the public.

According to Postmaster Silva Gibbs, postal personnel will postmark letters and postcards with a unique cancellation documenting the event.

"This special postmark is authorized by the Postal Service and is a wonderful way to take home an inexpensive souvenir of the occasion," she explained. "We hope you join us to commemorate our past and celebrate our future through stamps."

Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen, historian Myron Jackson, Apostle Samuel Weekes from the Paradise Covenant Ministries and the Rev. Harvard Stevens from the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church also will participate in the ceremony Tuesday.

Postal employee Eugene Kuntz will sing the National Anthem and Virgin Islands March.

Customers can request the special postmark free-of-charge by mail for 30 days after the event by sending a self addressed, stamped envelope containing the letter or envelope they want to bear the postmark to:

Flags of Our Nation Special Postmark

Virgin Islands Station

Postmaster

9846 Estate Thomas

St. Thomas, VI 00802-9998

"We will be happy to cancel and return by mail any letters that our customers mail to us," Gibbs said. "Customers may also bring their envelopes to the event to obtain the stamp and postmark keepsake."

Art director Howard Paine collaborated with artist Tom Engeman on all 60 stamps in the Flags of Our Nation series.

- Contact reporter Aldeth Lewin at 714-9111 or email alewin@dailynews.vi.

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