The Overrun Countries Commemorative Issue
September 28, 1943

By Hal Klein

There was little choice in the subject of the flag of France and the one used is the Ensign and Merchant flag. An Ensign is a flag flown on airplanes, ships, merchant marine vessels, launches and small boats.

On August 23,1943 the Post Office announced that the seventh stamp of the Overrun Countries Series would be honoring France and the stamp would be placed on sale in Washington, D.C., on September 28,1943.

On August 2 the Third Assistant Postmaster General approved the die proof and on September 18 the first delivery delivery of stamps was made to the Post Office in Washington and the Philatelic Agency. Ten days later these stamps were placed on sale at the White House and the main post office in Washington, D.C. Ceremonies in connection with the release of the issue in simple ceremonies held at the White House in Wash ington, D.C., with the first sheet sold to Postmaster General, Frank C. Walker.

There were sales on the first day of500,921 stamps with a total of 163,478 first day covers cancelled that day. The France stamp was printed from the bottom half of the plate and registration markers are found on bottom strips. This issue shows Red Offset ink over the Steel Blue Engraved Registration Marker. Approximately 30.2% (6,049,000) of the entire issue was sold at the Philatelic Agency, or about a half-a-million copies more than any other in the series. The France issue remained on sale until December 2,1944.

Reference: The United States Commemorative Stamps of the Twentieth Century, Volume II, 1935-1947: MaxJohl © 1947 H. L. Lindquist, New York, N.Y.