Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Philosateleian Blog

Aerican Empire micronation issues first stamps

Although most private local posts have their own stamps, Philosateleian Post being among them, it seems a little less common to run across a micronation with its own “postage.” Even less common still is a micronation that has existed for nearly 30 years, but is only now getting around to issuing its first stamps.

Such a description, however, fits the Aerican Empire. The brainchild of Eric L., the project claims territory on Earth, Mars, and even an imaginary planet or two. Considering that its lands on Earth are generally recognized as belonging to existing countries, and its lands on other planets are generally inaccessible—or, in the case of imaginary planets, non-existent—we can only conclude that the participants don’t take themselves too seriously.

But back to stamps. The Aerican Empire in April issued its first stamps, which picture the Aerican flag. Victor M., who was involved in the production of the stamps, was kind enough to send a cover bearing one of the new stamps.

Cover bearing a copy of the Aerican Empire's flag stamp
Aerican Empire flag cover

Here’s a closeup of the stamp itself.

Aerican Empire's stamp picturing flag with red and white vertical bars and smiley face
Aerican Empire flag stamp

This cover is a delightful example of the intersection of local posts and micronations. You can have either without the other, but having both in one place is quite nice indeed!

In his mailing, Victor also included an Aerican postcard and a couple of CTO copies of the new stamp. I don’t want to hog all the goodies for myself, so…if you’re the first reader to comment here and say you would like an Aerican Empire stamp, I’ll send one of the CTO copies to you at no charge. (And after commenting, please be sure to send your address to me so I know where to send the stamp.)

Buca di Beppo puts its stamp on advertisement

As a stamp collector, I’m always happy to see the hobby represented in a positive fashion in mainstream media. That includes advertising such as a flyer I received in the mail today from local eatery Buca di Beppo.

Fantasy stamp pictured in Buca di Beppo advertisement
Buca di Beppo fantasy stamp

As you can see, the fantasy stamp pictured in Buca di Beppo’s ad pictures the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which appears to be leaning because of a giant Buca sign attached to its side. The illustration even has small text below the stamp’s main design; on real stamps, that feature allows for the designer or printer to be credited, and it is common on stamps from many different countries. It’s not something I’m accustomed to seeing in advertising, however, and it’s a nice touch that gives Buca di Beppo’s “stamp” a more realistic look.

Have you seen any stamps, real or pretend, in non-philatelic settings recently? Leave a comment and let us know!

Orson Welles birth centennial celebrated by Purgatory Post

The man who directed one of the most critically acclaimed movies of all time, and who (at least according to some accounts) through a radio broadcast sparked fears of an alien invasion, is the subject of the newest stamp from New Hampshire’s Purgatory Post.

Orson Welles may be best known for producing the film Citizen Kane, but he was also an actor, writer, and radio producer, creating a fictitious radio news broadcast based on H.G. Wells᾿ The War of the Worlds that was so realistic that some listeners allegedly thought Earth was actually being invaded by aliens.

Cover bearing a copy of Purgatory Post's Orson Welles stamp
Purgatory Post Orson Welles cover

Welles died in 1985. Had he still been living, he would have turned 100 years old earlier this month.

USPS issues stamp, forgets design

On April 1, the United States Postal Service issued its “From Me to You” stamp to celebrate National Card & Letter Writing Month. Due to an unexplained decision made during the design approval process, however, the stamp was issued with no design.

United States Forever stamp bearing the text 'From Me to You'
From Me to You stamp

Okay, okay, I’m probably being too harsh. I mean, the four words that make up the “design” of this stamp are in different sizes and colors. The 1991 “F” rate makeup stamp, stuck with a single font size and color, was arguably even less visually interesting.

Non-denominated United States stamp bearing text indicating the stamp, along with a 25-cent stamp, pays the 'F' rate
“F” Stamp Rate makeup stamp

On the other hand, that “F” rate stamp did have a border, so maybe it wasn't so terrible after all.

Granted, my negative opinion of the “From Me to You” stamp is hardly universal. When the Letter Writers Alliance blog covered the release of the stamp, comments were very positive overall. And my sister likes the stamp, too, so maybe my dislike of it is just my curmudgeonly old man side showing its face.

What do you think of the “From Me to You” stamp?

Penny Black anniversary cover a nice surprise

Sometimes you know what to expect in your mailbox. At other times, you get a nice surprise.

Today was one of the nice surprises!

Penny Black anniversary first day cover
175th Anniversary of the Penny Black FDC

I certainly was expecting neither this first day cover bearing a copy of Britain’s Penny Black anniversary souvenir sheet nor the informational card included with it, both of which arrived in an envelope from Royal Mail.

When I initially saw images of the stamps online, I disliked how the outline of Queen Elizabeth’s profile is superimposed on the upper right corner of the anniversary stamps, but after seeing the stamps in person…well, they’re not horrible. I’m not saying there was no way to take a more inventive approach to the subject, but really, the stamps could be worse. It is the Penny Black, after all.

Why was receiving the FDC a nice surprise? Because I didn’t order it. That means either a) someone at Royal Mail decided to send it to me gratis, or b) one of my readers sent it to me. The latter seems more likely, but with no indication of who’s responsible, all I can say to the unknown benefactor is, “Thank you.”

Have you received any nice surprises in your mailbox recently?

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