Sunday, March 1, 2015

Birds and Flowers -- First Day Issues [Part 1]

It's the first day of March, so it seems appropriate ...

Have you heard of what they call "First Day Issues" or "First Day Covers"? For those of us who collect old postcards, this is a slightly different part of postal memorabilia ... it's an envelope with art, stamped and postmarked on the first day the stamp is authorized by the United States Postal Service.

Here is one to get us started:  Alabama ...

A First Day Cover celebrates something ... in this case, the official bird and flower of Alabama ... Yellowhammer and Camellia. The "cover" is actually an envelope that is stamped and postmarked on the first day the stamp is authorized for use. The artist, Mr. Chuck Ripper, did the illustration on the left side of the envelope. Postal stamp designers, Arthur and Alan Singer, created the USPS stamp. For this special collection of all 50 states the "first day of issue" was April 14, 1982. We will post the entire collection for you ... a little bit at a time.

Enlargment of the art ... created by Chuck Ripper ...

Enlargement of the cancelled stamp ... designed by Authur and Alan Singer ...

Birds and Flowers -- 50 US States -- First Day Cover Collection ...

About the Artist, Mr. Chuck Ripper ...

Alaska ...

About the Stamps ...

Arizona ...

More state birds and flowers in a future post.  Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. how neat! learned another new thing, here. :)

  2. These are great, beautifully illustrated. Thanks for sharing these John.

  3. Great post! The Flicker is a cool bird for a state bird.. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week ahead!

  4. I thought that Yellowhammer looks a lot like our Northern Flicker. Are they the same bird? :-)

  5. Here in Germany they are called "Ersttagsausgabe" :)
    That's a real pretty one you have there, John!
    Have a fine day and a beautiful week :)

  6. I also like the Alabama Yellowhammer the best.

  7. What beautiful illustrations on these, John!!! Thanks so much for sharing them.

  8. What lovely postcards!

  9. Beautiful. Now I wish I'd remained with the hobby. Lasted maybe a year, when I was about ten. I think my love switched to basketball.

  10. These are so pretty. You have a wonderful post card collection. Such a great thing to collect!

  11. What a beautiful series! The Yellowhammer reminds me of our Northern Flicker that rips up my totally neglected lawn every winter (so no real harm done) and I saw the Cactus Wren when visiting Saguaro National Park in AZ.

  12. Chuck Ripper is a wonderful wildlife artist! This collection is superb!


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