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USPS Issues the Wrong Statue of Liberty on New “Forever” Stamp

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The United States Postal Services (USPS) attempted to issue a new Statue of Liberty stamp in order to celebrate Lady Liberty’s 125th anniversary but the the stamp featured the wrong statue.

Instead of the original Statue of Liberty located in New York harbor, they mistakenly used the image of the replica Statue of Liberty located in the New York, New York Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The mistake was realized when a popular stamp magazine, Linn’s Stamp News, brought the issue to light. There are differences in the statues’ hair and better-defined eyes and the replica in Las Vegas is also half the size of the real Statue of Liberty’s 151 feet.

2 billion stamps were printed with the wrong Statue of Liberty and they will be distributed and not destroyed since it would be too costly to correct the mistake.  It cost $880 million to print those stamps.  So what is the solution?  According to the New York Times, the stamp will not be changed, only informational material about it.

The Postal Service reportedly chose the image from a photography service, unaware that it was not the original Statue of Liberty located in New York but they are standing by their choice.  Post Office spokesman Roy Betts told the New York Times, “We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway.”

The USPS issued a statement that promises no more future errors.  Betts added the post office regrets the mistake and is “re-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future.”

But is that a promise the USPS can keep?  There have been stamp mistakes in the past and it is only likely that there will be another mistake in the future.  The most famous stamp error is the Inverted Jenny, released in 1918.  Many were distributed with the Jenny (an airplane) displayed flying upside down.  Some have not been found and the stamp is extremely rare, worth about $1 million today.

Some people are outraged by the mistake, a furious stamp collector said, “The Statue of Liberty is too important to be disgraced this way. It shows how important decisions in this country are made without proper consideration. And then when people make mistakes, they don’t want to correct them. Think of what the Statue of Liberty – the real one – means, you know, providing sanctuary to those fleeing oppression and giving them a chance at freedom. And we can’t even get the right one on an American stamp.”

And after all, this stamp was mostly printed for stamp collectors because “Forever” stamps tend to be a little bit pricier and are not actually intended to appeal to people who just use stamps for mailing purposes. The stamp was released on rolls in December and then again last week on 18-stamp sheets.  It’s a “USA First-Class” stamp, with a price tag of 44 cents each.

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