We are very pleased to announce today that the U.S. Postal Service will celebrate 150 years of West Virginia statehood with the issuance of a Forever® stamp in 2013.
Admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, West Virginia is one of only two new states created during the war and the only one created by separation from a Confederate state. Located entirely within the Appalachian Highlands, West Virginia is now known as the Mountain State. Its official motto reflects the realities of topography as well as its individualistic spirit: montani semper liberi, “mountaineers are always free.”
The stamp features an October 2008 photograph by Roger Spencer showing an early morning view looking east from the Highland Scenic Highway (Route 150) in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, within Monongahela National Forest.
Spencer, a lifelong West Virginian, believes that a successful photograph should produce an emotional response that recalls the experience the photographer had while creating it. “This image,” he says, “evokes the serenity one feels when standing atop one of our mountains, breathing in the clean, refreshing, mountain air of a cool October morning, and viewing the landscape bathed in the surreal glow of the misty, early morning light.”
Spencer adds that for many West Virginians, a breathtaking panoramic view truly exemplifies their home state. “Any image representing West Virginia must include our beloved mountains, from which our state gets its nickname, ‘The Mountain State,’” he explains. “Our state slogan, ‘Wild and Wonderful,’ is also embodied in this image of our rugged mountains and valleys.”
A release date for the stamp has not yet been set.