WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Stars and Stripes snaps in the breeze above the slogan ``United We Stand'' on a new stamp unveiled by the Postal Service Tuesday.
``The 'United We Stand stamp' is a ballot for freedom,'' said Postmaster General John E. Potter. ``It is meant to send a message of unity and resolve with every letter.''
Potter said the agency was besieged with calls for a new patriotic stamp following the terrorist attacks Sept. 11.
The design was quickly approved and millions of the stamps are being printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and Bank Note Corporation of America.
The 34-cent self-adhesive stamps are expected to be on sale nationwide early next month.
The new design was announced by Patricia Jenkins and Linda Washington, postal clerks who were working at the Pentagon at the time a hijacked plane crashed into the building.
Stamps ``may be small but they are powerful,'' said Potter. ``They speak of a nation that is united.''
Potter was presented the flag that flew over the post office's Church Street Station in New York, the closest to the World Trade Center. It still carried the dust generated by the collapse of the trade towers.
He thanked the thousands of postal workers across the country for their efforts to keep the mail moving in the wake of the attacks and the limits on air travel.
``Keeping the mail moving was the most important thing the Postal Service could do as our nation worked toward recovery,'' he said.
Robert Rider, chairman of the postal governing board, added: ``Each of us, in his own way, has experienced grief and anger ... and each has emerged saddened and resolved that our nation will stand united.''
The new stamp is for the standard first-class rate. Some members of Congress have proposed a stamp with a surcharge to raise money for the families of those killed at the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
Currently there is a surcharged stamp on sale to raise funds to fight breast cancer, but that is scheduled to go off sale.