With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a two-and-a-half year conflict with Great Britain that many Americans later came to view as the nation’s “Second War of Independence.”
For the stamp design, the Postal Service selected a long-admired painting of the famed USS Constitution by Michele Felice Cornè, circa 1803. Constitution acquired the nickname “Old Ironsides” during a victorious battle with a ship of the Royal Navy at the beginning of the War of 1812. The majestic warship, which is today docked at the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, became a symbol of the young nation’s naval power and fierce independence. Today “Old Ironsides” is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world and is manned by a crew of active duty U.S. Navy sailors. She was officially designated “America’s Ship of State” in 2009.
Greg Breeding served as art director and designer for the project.
The War of 1812: USS Constitution is being issued as a Forever stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.