America’s Bicentennial – Waving The Flag.

As America entered into the 1970’s, the nation prepared to celebrate our 200 years of Independence – Our Bicentennial – 1776 – 1976.

(S-0066) 1776-1976 Bicentennial – State Flags – Set of 50.

Issued as part of the U.S. Post Office’s ongoing Bicentennial celebration, this 13¢ State Flag pane of 50 stamps was a first in U.S. history. This was the first time a sheet of stamps with 50 different designs was issued. Each state was represented by its official flag, with the stamps arranged on the sheet in the same order each state was admitted into the Union.

Of course, 1976 was not the first time the Iowa State Flag appeared on a postage stamp!

(P-0002) This show card is a beautiful souvenir of first time the Iowa State Flag appeared on a U.S. postage stamp – first issued in Iowa City on August 3, 1946. Read more here.
(S-0047) (C-0158 1976 13¢ Iowa State Flag from 50-stamp US Flags Issue. With the help of the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Iowa held a design contest in search of a flag design in 1917. The winning design, by Mrs. Dixie Gebhardt, was selected on May 11. Gebhardt’s design featured an eagle on a white stripe between a red stripe (for courage) and a blue stripe (for loyalty, justice, and truth). The state name is written below the eagle in red, to symbolize the sacrifices of the men who went to war. Read more here.

(C-0159) 1976 13¢ Bicentennial – Spirit of 76- Set of 3 stamps – Postmarked on July 4, 1976 in Iowa City.

(C-0160) R.A.G.B.R.A.I – IV.  Every year since 1973,  bicycle riders from around the world come to Iowa to ride across the state over a week’s time. The 1976 Bicentennial race covered 430 miles and went through Iowa City on August 6 and this cover was postmarked in Iowa City.

(M-0028) 1776 – 1976 – American Revolution Bicentennial – State of Iowa Commemorative Medallion. This commemorative medallion was produced to celebrate the Bicentennial in Iowa. On the obverse is the State of Iowa flag motto: Our Liberties We Prize and Our Rights We Will Maintain. On the reverse is the Bicentennial state emblem, a modernized plow with the four-leaf clover “Iowa-A Place To Grow” logo.

(M-0029) Iowa City Coin Club – 1958 – 2008. Fiftieth Anniversary Coin. This would be an appropriate place in our collection to look at this rare coin collectible. This is Coin #34 from a limited minting of coins commemorating the 50th anniversary (1958 – 2008) of the Iowa City Coin Club. A beautiful coin indeed, picturing Old Capitol and Hawk flying over the State of Iowa.

(C-0200) (C-0199) Iowa – The 29-Star Flag. The Stars and Stripes of Old Glory. in 2000, this set of 20 stamps chronicled the development of the American flag from Colonial times to the present. Each flag has an interesting story behind it. For example, the design of the Francis Hopkinson flag was once attributed to Betsy Ross. Historians now believe this often-told tale is untrue. Adopted on June 14, 1777, the birthday of the Hopkinson flag is celebrated each year as Flag Day. This was the first flag to feature both the stars and stripes in its design.

(C-0263) When Iowa joined the Union on December 28, 1846, the U.S. Flag “officially” added a 29th star on July 4, 1847. Prior to the 48-star flag designed in 1912, there was no set pattern for arranging stars on the American flag, so the flag shown above is just one of several designs used for the 29-star flag. Read more here.

(S-0052) (C-0184) 2008 Iowa State Flag from Flags of Our Nation series. This Iowa State Flag stamp is part of the 2008 Flags of Our Nation Series. Iowa adopted its state motto, “Our Liberties We Prize, Our Rights We Will Maintain,” in 1847 as part of the great seal. The motto is likely a response to the difficulties that state had establishing statehood.

Kudos to the amazing resources below for the many quotes, photographs, etc. used on this page.

Iowa’s Bicentennial Coin, Lyle Bruere, Annals of Iowa, 1976

Click here to go on to the next section…

Click here for a complete INDEX of Our Iowa Heritage stories…