18 April 2013
Elvis & General Lee Still Beat The Yankee Stamps
Won't the U.S. Postal Service ever learn?
Kevin Levin recently posted his observations about some recent commemorative Civil War postage stamps, noting, as part of his observations, that ". . . the war is being framed . . ." Yes, I think that's quite accurate but will it make any difference? The victorious side of the conflict has been "framing the war" since 1865 (of course, the losers have as well).
Whether or not the USPS is consciously pushing a certain viewpoint, I couldn't say and really don't care. But I recall visiting my local Post Office (mid 1990's I think) and seeing two displays of commemorative stamps or postcards, or something like that. One featured Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the other Union General Ulysses S. Grant. I wanted to purchase the Lee editions but every time I went into the Post Office, that display was empty while Grant's was always full.
"What's going on here?" I thought to myself. "Must be an anti-Southern conspiracy and political correctness run amok."
Hmmmm . . . so I did what any red-blooded Virginian would do and demanded an explanation. I asked the clerk:
"Hey, what's the deal here? Why won't you stock the Lee display? The only thing you ever stock is Grant, how come?"
The clerk smiled broadly and with her Shenandoah Valley drawl replied,
"If you want the Lee edition, you'll need to get here early on Mondays. They're selling out as fast as we stock them and we only get so many a week. I've only sold 3 or 4 of the Grant edition."
I was both disappointed and happy. Seems whatever the government wants, the public tends to go the other way - in a lot of cases anyway. Maybe the gubament wants us all to buy the Union focused commemorative stamps now being offered. Maybe they'll be a big hit - though if the Post Office's recent track record is any indication, I wouldn't put too much stock in that.
But if they are a big hit, I still doubt they'll ever outsell the stamp that commemorated the descendant of Confederate soldiers - Elvis. That's right. Elvis is not only the King of Rock n Roll, he's also the King of commemorative stamps. The South dominates again.
Since the USPS is now losing $25 million a day, it's obvious the yankee stamps ain't helpin' much.
Maybe Elvis and General Lee could ride to the rescue.