newest USPS stamp Chief Standing Bear
by Rockwell Sands @

Newest USPS Stamp Honors Chief Standing Bear

The latest Forever stamp honors Chief Standing Bear, leader of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska who championed Native American 14th Amendment rights

USPS has released its newest stamp, and it features a portrait of the Native American Chief Standing Bear. Illustrator Thomas Blackshear II completed the portrait, which derives inspiration from a black-and white-photograph taken in 1877. Derry Noyes served as the stamp’s art director and designer, according to a statement from the Postal Service.

Who was Chief Standing Bear?

As the leader of Nebraska’s Ponca tribe, Chief Standing Bear achieved recognition in the late 1800s when he challenged the U.S. government in the court case called Standing Bear v. Crook.

In 1877, the U.S. government forcibly removed the Ponca tribe from their ancestral lands and made them move to a designated territory in what is now Oklahoma. Later that year, Standing Bear led a group of Poncas back to their homeland in Nebraska to fulfill his dying’s son wishes to be buried there.

Standing Bear took the government to court, and in the case that followed, Judge Elmer Dundy ruled that Native Americans should be recognized as individuals and have the protection of the U.S. Constitution. In effect, the ruling in Standing Bear v. Crook determined that a Native American was a person under the law in the United States, with an inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Why USPS Chose Chief Standing Bear for its Newest Stamp

Speaking on the decision to feature Chief Standing Bear, Vice Chairman of the USPS Board of Governors, Anton G. Hajjar, said:

“Since the 1800’s, the Postal Service has used stamps to celebrate the legacy of great Americans and we are proud to do that today with this striking stamp of Chief Standing Bear. Although the United States was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, it took our country far too long to recognize the humanity in many of its people – including the American Indians who lived in these lands for thousands of years. I hope this stamp will serve as a reminder of the lessons we’ve learned from Chief Standing Bear, and the brave Ponca people, especially here in the Cornhusker State.”

Where Can I Get the Newest USPS Stamp?

If you want to pick up the Chief Standing Bear stamp, the easiest way is to purchase them on the USPS website. Your local Post Office might have them, but since USPS printed only 18 million, there’s a chance that it may not, either. Per USPS, these stamps are Forever stamps, which means that they will be considered valid postage in perpetuity—until you use them, of course!

Since USPS has recently proposed raising the prices of stamps in July 2023, it might make sense to lock in a lower rate before the price goes up again. At the time of publishing this article, Forever Stamps for First-Class Mail cost 63 cents each. If the Postal Regulatory Commission approves the new proposed rate increase, they will go up to 66 cents…and it will mark the shortest time between rate increases in USPS history.

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