May 2, 2017

0148, 3033, 3034 UNITED STATES - The map and the flag of the country

3033 The map of the United States

Posted on 16.03.2012, 02.05.2017
The United States of America (USA) is a constitutional federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. 48 of the states and the federal district are contiguous and located in North America between Canada and Mexico. Exceptions are Alaska (located in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada and Bering Strait) and Hawaii  (an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean). At 9.8 million km2 and with over 324 million people, USA is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area, third-largest by land area, and the third-most populous.
3034 The map of the United States and the location
of the Native American tribes

The capital is Washington, D.C., founded in 1791 in the capital district, so no state or territory has any political or economic advantage relative to the others, and named in honor of George Washington, considered the "father of the country," who served as the first President of the United States. The largest city is New York City, which traces its origin to its 1624 founding in Lower Manhattan as a trading post by colonists of the Dutch Republic and was named New Amsterdam in 1626. It is an important center for international diplomacy and has been described as the cultural and financial capital of the world.

 The first inhabitants of North America migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 15,000 years ago. Some, such as the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, developed advanced agriculture, grand architecture, and state-level societies. After the Spanish conquistadors made the first contacts, the native population declined for various reasons, primarily from diseases. European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies along the East Coast.

Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the Seven Years' War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775. On July 4, 1776, during the course of the American Revolutionary War, the colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by Great Britain. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, and the first ten amendments (Bill of Rights) were ratified in 1791.

The United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, displacing Native American tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War led to the end of legal slavery in the country. By the end of that century, USA extended into the Pacific Ocean, and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and WWI confirmed the country's status as a global military power.

The United States emerged from WWII as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, and the only country to use them in warfare. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is a highly developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP. While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. It is a prominent political and cultural force internationally, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.

The coastal plain of the Atlantic seaboard gives way further inland to deciduous forests and the rolling hills of the Piedmont. The Appalachian Mountains divide the eastern seaboard from the Great Lakes and the grasslands of the Midwest. The Mississippi-Missouri River runs mainly north–south through the heart of the country. The flat, fertile prairie of the Great Plains stretches to the west, interrupted by a highland region in the southeast. The Rocky Mountains, at the western edge of the Great Plains, extend north to south across the country, reaching altitudes higher than 4,300m in Colorado.

Farther west are the rocky Great Basin and deserts such as the Chihuahua and Mojave. The Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges run close to the Pacific coast, both ranges reaching altitudes higher than 4,300m. Active volcanoes are common throughout Alaska's Alexander and Aleutian Islands, and Hawaii consists of volcanic islands. The supervolcano underlying Yellowstone National Park in the Rockies is the continent's largest volcanic feature. The United States, with its large size and geographic variety, includes most climate types.

The country is home to people of many different national origins. The majority of Americans or their ancestors immigrated to America or were brought as slaves within the past five centuries, with the exception of the Native American population. People of European descent, or White Americans, constitute the majority, with 72.4% of the population. Hispanic or Latino Americans (of any race) constitute the largest ethnic minority in the United States. African Americans represents 12.4% of the population, Asian American 5.6%, and Native Americans 1.7%.

Although there is no official language at the federal level, English (American English) is the de facto national language. Spanish, spoken by 12% of the population at home, is the second most common language. Christianity is by far the most common religion practiced in the US, but other religions are followed, too. In a 2013 survey, 56% of Americans said that religion played a "very important role in their lives". However, Irreligion is growing rapidly among Americans under 30. The survey also reported that 22.8% of Americans described themselves as agnostic, atheist or simply having no religion, up from 8.2% in 1990

The national flag of the USA consists of a rectangular field, in which are found 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle (known as navy blue) in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in 9 offset horizontal rows of 6 stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of 5 stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that became the first states in the Union. Nicknames for the flag include the Stars and Stripes, Red, White and Blue, Old Glory, and The Star-Spangled Banner.

At the time of the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Second Continental Congress wouldn't legally adopt the flag with "stars, white in a blue field" for another year, this happening on the day of June 14, 1777 (celebrated since then each year as the Flag Day). As regards its origin, there are 3 theories. British historian Charles Fawcett argued in 1937 that the american flag closely resembles with that of the British East India Company.

Another theory holds that the red-and-white stripe motif may have been based on the Washington family coat of arms, first used to identify the family in the 12th century, when one of George Washington's ancestors took possession of Washington Old Hall, then in County Durham, north-east England. A third theory is based on the family coat of arms of Richard Amerike, the principal owner of the Matthew, the ship sailed by John Cabot during his voyage of exploration to North America in 1497.

The design of the flag has been modified 26 times officially, since 1777. The 48-star flag was in effect for 47 years until the 49-star version became official on July 4, 1959. The 50-star flag was ordered by President Eisenhower on August 21, 1959, after Alaska and before Hawaii was admitted into the Union.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0148
About the stamp, featuring a photograph by James Amos of the beautiful countryside of Lancaster County, I wrote here.

On the postcard 3033
About the first stamp, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here. The second stamp, dedicated to Janis Joplin (1943-1970), is part of the series Music Icons, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 3034
The first stamp is part of the series Songbirds in Snow, designed by Robert Giusti, and issued on August 04, 2016.
• the golden-crowned kinglet
• the cedar waxwing
• the northern cardinal
• the red-breasted nuthatch - It's on the postcard 3034

The last stamp, Kwanzaa 2016, designed by Greg Breeding, was issued on October 1, 2016. The colorful stamp art features a young African-American woman as the embodiment of Africa. She wears a lavender dress with a collar of African design that also appears in her earring. In front of the woman sits a large purple bowl. It overflows with fruits and vegetables, symbolizing the abundance of African first harvest celebrations.

Sender 0148: Neil J. Hajba (direct swap)
Sent from Kingston (New York / USA), on 10.02.2012
Sender 3033: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 07.11.2014
Sender 3034: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 05.12.2016  

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