The United States Postal Service has announced a raft of new postage stamp designs that will be rolled out next year, including one that gets the seal of approval from the U.S. women's national team as they prepare to retain their crown at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
The new collection features a wide range of designs that, the USPS says, "highlight our unique American culture," and includes a number of prominent individuals who have had a major social influence. Former Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is honoured, along with novelist Toni Morrison, pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and civil rights leader Chief Standing Bear.
There is also a stamp that pays homage to women's soccer in the United States, all the way up from the network of youth leagues to the reigning world champions of the USWNT. Designed by Antonio Alcala using an illustration by Noah MacMillan, the stamp features a player acrobatically "walloping a ball with a side volley" in a streamlined, modernist style that is intended to depict the dynamic movement and motion of the women's game.
"Signed, sealed, delivered. Can't wait to be in your mailboxes," the USWNT wrote on Twitter.
Signed, sealed, delivered. ✉️📪— U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (@USWNT) October 24, 2022
Can't wait to be in your mailboxes starting in 2023! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/OkwgJGlLVE
While the two worlds might not be an obvious pairing, football has provided the inspiration for stamp artwork on several occasions in the past. Indeed, several star names have successfully played their way into the world of philately.
It perhaps goes without saying that Zlatan Ibrahimovic was bestowed with his own line of stamps by the Swedish Postal Service (Posten) back in 2014.
The limited-edition set featured five different images of the veteran striker and proved an instant hit, with over five million stamps selling in advance of their launch.
In a similar vein, Robert Lewandowski found himself featured on a Polish postage stamp ahead of the 2018 World Cup after scoring 16 goals in 10 games during the qualifying campaign.
Five million stamps of the nation's all-time top goal scorer were printed and launched on the opening day of the tournament, selling for 6 Zloty (roughly €1.25) each.
Cementing his place as a national sporting hero, Armenia's record goal scorer Henrikh Mkhitaryan received his very own signature postage stamp in 2019.
Are you Team Ronaldo or Team Messi. Both of these stamps of mine are from Burundi 🇧🇮 The Lionel Messi stamp was in an @ExploringStamps video and I just had to buy it! #philately #stampcollecting #stampcollection #stamps pic.twitter.com/9RdoXUkr8p— The Young Philatelist (@YungPhilatelist) September 10, 2020
Royal Mail releases Football Heroes stamps of soccer legends including George Best pic.twitter.com/qcD7VqYK— maurice fitzmaurice (@mofitzmaurice) February 8, 2013
In 2013, the Royal Mail released a special collection to mark the 150th anniversary of the Football Association rules of the game being established. It featured 12 of the greatest British footballing talents on individual stamps, including the likes of Bobby Moore (England), Denis Law (Scotland), John Charles (Wales) and George Best (Northern Ireland.)
However, perhaps the coolest football-themed stamp ever produced was the special Sensible Soccer tribute released in 2020 as part of a 12-piece set paying homage to classic U.K.-designed video games from the 1980s and 1990s.