The 2010 USPS Love stamp, featuring a basket of pansies

The 2010 USPS Love stamp, featuring a basket of pansies Credit: Handout photo

A basket of pansies graces the latest 44-cent "LOVE" stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service.

The LOVE line of stamps, first launched in 1973, typically are used when mailing wedding invitations, birth announcements, congratulations, etc., and in the past have features swans, cherubs, candy hearts, victorian lace, modern art and the word "Love" itself.

The 2010 LOVE stamp, dedicated last week at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., borrows a design of a white woven basket filled with purple pansies from a 1939 Hallmark Mother's Day card designed from a watercolor created by Hallmark employee Dorothy Maienschein. The stamp was designed by Derry Noyes.

"The very name of the flower -- pansy -- comes from the French word 'pensee', which means thought,"  Stephen Kearney of the USPS said at the dedication.  "This museum  serves as a place of remembrance, and it is fitting that we should gather here to celebrate the issuance of a stamp with the image of flowers that have long been recognized as symbols of remembrance."

Another interesting tidbit: Since Hallmark began tracking sales in 1942, almost 30 million cards with this pansy design have been purchased. That's more than any of their cards in history.

You have 60 days to get the first day of issue postmark by mail. Just buy the stamp at your local post office, stick it on a self-addressed envelope and place it in a larger envelope addressed to:

Love: Pansies in a Basket Stamp
300 W. Pershing Rd.
Kansas City, MO 64108-9998

As long as it's postmarked by June 22, the postal service will apply a first-day-of-issue postmark to your self-addressed envelope and mail it back to you.


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