The Flags

US plate number coil collecting began with the release of the first PNC in 1981 - the 18 flag. Flags have continued to be the USPS's most frequently used first class coil design. This section lists and prices the Flag series of plate number coils. Some varieties are listed. Prices are for F-VF quality. If Mint, MNH. If used, with a moderate to light cancel not on the plate number, and not so close that you wonder if it touches. This page is designed to be a reference guide for collectors and dealers & so I have priced items which I do not have for sale. Inquire first for anything over $25. Suggestions and comments are welcome. ED Denson


PNC Pages

  • The 18 Flags
  • The 20 Flags
  • The 22 Flags
  • The 23 Flags
  • The 23 USA stamps
  • The 25 Flags
  • The 29 Flag over Rushmore
  • The 29 Flag over the White House
  • The 32 Flags
  • The 32 Flag Self-Adhesives
    The 18 Flag:
    Scott 1891. The first PNC, this stamp was released 24 Apr 1981. First collected in pairs as was normal for coils at that time, and then in PS3 as the PNC aesthetic began to take hold. Collecting in PS5 did not emerge until all postal supplies of most numbers of this issue were exhausted. Hence such strips are scarce and expensive. Because plates 6 &7 were issued just as the rate change to 20 occured, most of these PNCs were recalled and shredded by the USPS. Covers are extremely rare for those numbers.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5CoverFDC
    #12.50 100.00 350.00
    #2 1.00 18.00 40.00
    #3 12.00 300.00 850.00
    #41.00 6.50 7.25
    #5 1.00 3.75 4.25
    #6 500.00 2000.00 3500.00 ----
    #730.00 30.00 31.00 ----
    Sets
    Short Set of 6 47.50 455.00 1250.00 ---
    Complete Set of 7550.00 2450.00 4775.00---

    Back to: top of page or 18 Flag or 20 Flag or 22 Flag or23 Flag or 23 USA or 25 Flag or 29 Flag over Rushmore or 29 Flag over White House or 32 Flag

    20 Flag Scott 1895
    Released 17 Dec 1981 as collectors were beginning to collect longer strips (note). By the time PS5 collecting was established #1, 4 & 6 were no longer on sale. Notes: Plate #7 was never released. Plate #14 is known precanceled and not precanceled.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5Cover FDC
    Scott 1895. Block tagged
    #12.00 7.00 70.00
    #2 1.00 8.00 8.50
    #3 1.00 4.60 5.00
    #45.00 35.00 600.00
    #51.00 3.85 4.25
    #6 3.00 69.00 150.00
    #7 not released ------ --- --- ---
    #81.00 11.50 12.00 ---
    #9,101.00 3.85 4.25 ---
    #11,125.00 8.00 8.50 ---
    #13,14 1.00 3.85 4.25 ---
    Scott 1895a 20 Flag Precanceled (two horizontal bars)
    #1455.00 55.00 60.00 55.00 ---
    Sets
    Unprecanceled Complete Set of 13330.00 190.00 900.00
    Complete Set of 14380.00 240.00 950.00


    Back to: top of page or 18 Flag or 20 Flag or 22 Flag or23 Flag or 23 USA or 25 Flag or 29 Flag over Rushmore or 29 Flag over White House or 32 Flag

    22 Flag Scott 2215 Release date 29 March 1985
    By mid-1985 the PS3 vs PS5 struggle was over as far as dealer stocking of new releases was concerned. Everyone stocked PS5s only. Probably the last stamps of which that was not true were 22F1 and 22F3 which accounts for their prices as PS5s. Note: Plate 9 was not released.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5Cover FDC
    Scott 2215. Regular plate number. Issued 3/29/85
    #1 1.00 12.00 12.50
    #21.00 3.00 3.50
    #3 1.00 10.00 48.00
    #4, 51.00 4.50 5.00
    #65.20 5.6 6.00 50.00
    #71.00 12.00 12.50
    #81.00 3.00 3.50
    #9 not released--- --- --- ---
    #10, 111.00 4.50 5.00
    #121.00 3.00 3.50
    #13 1.00 12.00 12.50
    #14 25.00 25.50 26.00
    #15,16 3.00 2.50 4.00
    #17, 181.00 4.50 5.00
    #191.00 3.00 3.50
    #201.00 4.50 5.00
    #213.00 4.50 5.00
    #22 1.00 3.00 3.50
    Plate number prefixed with a "T". Whiter paper. FDOI 5/23/87
    #T12.50 3.00 3.50 3.00 7.50
    Sets
    Complete Set of 2267.50 140.00 190.00
    Varieties
    #2 imperforate----- 150.00 175.00
    #11 re-entered plate number14.0014.00 14.00 15.00
    #13 high number25.00 25.00 25.00
    #13 low number25.00 250.00 25.00


    Back to: top of page or 18 Flag or 20 Flag or 22 Flag or23 Flag or 23 USA or 25 Flag or 29 Flag over Rushmore or 29 Flag over White House or 32 Flag

    23 Flag Scott 2607 Release date 9/27/91
    This is the first flag design which was not a first class stamp. It paid the pre-sorted first class rate, as it says on it.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5Cover FDC
    #A1113.00 3.50 4.00
    #A1125.00 5.50 6.00
    #A122 4.00 4.50 5.00
    #A212,2223.00 3.50 4.00
    #A3334.00 4.5 5.00
    Sets
    Complete Set of 622.00 25.00 28.00
    Varieties
    #222 thin red two in plate number3.00 3.50 4.00

    Back to: top of page or 18 Flag or 20 Flag or 22 Flag or23 Flag or 23 USA or 25 Flag or 29 Flag over Rushmore or 29 Flag over White House or 32 Flag


    D ALIGN=right>4.00

    23 USA Scott 2606-08 Strictly speaking this design is not a flag, but its close enough. Like the 23 flag the stamp was issued to pay a pre-sort first class rate.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5Cover FDC
    Scott 2606. American Bank Note printings. Plate prefix "A". Release date 7/21/92
    #A11113.00 3.50 4.00 4.00
    #A22223.00 3.50 4.00
    #A2232, 2233, 3333, 4364, 4433, 4444, 4453 4.00 4.30 4.75
    Scott 2607. BEP printing. No plate number prefix. Released 10/9/92
    #1111 regular gum 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.00
    #1111 dull gum3.75 4.00 4.75
    Scott 2608. Stamp Venturer's printing. Plate number prefix "S". Released 5/14/93.
    #S1113.00 3.50 4.00
    Sets
    Complete Set of 1243.50 48.00 54.00
    Varieties
    #1111 tagged (error)74.00 74.0075.00

    Back to: top of page or 25 flag


    <

    25 Flag Scott 2280 This stamp was issued on two kinds of paper: regular, with block tagging, and pre-phospored with no tagging. The phosphor in the paper was to take the place of tagging. Under the UV light the pre-phospored paper appears to have all-over tagging.
    DescriptionPS1 PS3PS5Cover FDC
    Scott 2280. Block tagged. Release date 5/20/88
    #15.50 6.00 6.50
    #2, 3, 4, 5 1.00 3.00 3.50
    #71.00 6.00 6.50
    #81.00 3.00 3.50
    #92.00 8.75 9.25
    Scott 2280. Pre-phosphored paper. Released 2/14/89.
    #139.00 39.50 40.00
    #2, 3 1.00 3.00 3.50
    #51.00 6.00 6.50
    #67.50 11.75 12.50
    #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 1.00 3.00 3.50
    #152.50 6.00 6.50
    Sets
    Complete Set of 2173.00 125.00 135.00

    Back to: top of page or 18 Flag or 20 Flag or 22 Flag or 23 Flag or 23 USA or 25 Flag or 29 Flag over Rushmore or 29 Flag over White House or 32 Flag


    Back to:Top of page or PNC home page or General stamp home page


    Notes

    18 Flag #6 is so scarce that these prices are simply starting points. Each copy is judged on its own qualities of centering, color, small flaws etc. and priced accordingly. The price for the PS5 is based on Robert Rabinowitz's List #127, Jan 97.


    20 Flag Collectors began by saving pairs of PNCs, with the number on the right hand stamp. This was adopted from pre-PNC coil collecting. However the flags looked better as strips of 3, and so collecting them in PS3 caught on. Some PNCs show a joint line to the right of the PNC itself, and those looked better in strips of 4 with the joint line runing down the center. So strips of 4 became fashionable. Finally collectors hit on strips of 5 for non-aesthetic reasons - precancel gaps were easier to collect in strips of this length. Unfortunately by the time the PS5 really caught on the 18 flags and the scarcer numbers of the 20 flags were no longer available at post offices. Thus they became much more expensive as PS5 than as PS3. I know this makes no real sense, but neither does most history.

    22 Flag #6 has an odd history. Most of the printing was bought up by speculators and relatively few were sold to the public over the counter. The cover price given is for philatelic covers canceled in the 22 rate period. I believe there are less than 50 philatelic covers known. Actual non-philatelic uses are worth considerably more. I believe only one or two are known.

    Return to listing


    Pre-phosphored paper appears like all-over tagging under the uv light. It is similar to "embedded tagging".

    Return to listing


    Go to:Top of flags page or PNC home page or General stamp home page

    This page's address is http://www.asis.com/~edenson/pncflag.html. It was last updated 28 Jan 1997.