Friday, June 27, 2008

Colorado's New Flag Stamp

Native Coloradoans know their mountain ranges. It is a source of pride regardless of whether you are living on the Eastern Slope or the Western Slope. You know where the sun rises and sets each day and how that point changes locations as the seasons change. To an Easterner or a Boy Scout, it is akin to knowing which way is West or that moss and lichen grows on the North side of a tree: a comfort if you are lost in the woods.

In Colorado, you can name the National Parks or Forests you have been to; the 14ers you have climbed and your goal for the upcoming year. The environment is something you are in synch with. You understand that you are not in control and that a careless decision made outdoors might cost you your life or the lives of others who come to your aid. You may even be charged for the rescue services if you have made a particularly bad decision. (read: non-native)

I feel sorry for Tom Engeman. He is the artist who designed the new Colorado Stamp for the US Postal Service. Perhaps he has never been to the Rocky Mountain State, but someone who worked with him or loved him should have told him: You just cannot put a generic mountain on a Colorado stamp. However, if you choose to be generic you had better make sure that it is truly non-distinct . . . make sure it doesn’t resemble Mount Helen in Wyoming.


  1. Hi Leslie!

    I couldn't agree with you more. As an artist, I frankly can't understand why Engeman would simply rely on his "illustrative imagination" for this stamp. Replacing something as iconic as the Rockies with a generic mountain is a disservice to Colorado. Reference photos should've been a large part of the design process.

    So, what do you suppose Engeman would do if commissioned to do a stamp for Switzerland?


  2. Possibly use Machu Picchu as a guide?

  3. Heaven Forbid he falsifies a Swiss Alp!! Enjoyed the blog and you sending me the link with me for president!
    Ya Sis