According to The New York Times, the Postal Service got the image from a photo service, unaware that its version of Liberty was a flashy stand-in for the iconic figure that has stood on Ellis Island in New York Harbor since 1886. By contrast, the replica at the New York-New York casino in Vegas has been around just since 1997. Linn’s Stamp News, a stamp collectors’ publication, broke the story.
The Postal Service has already printed three billion of the stamps and more are on the way, confirmed spokesman Roy Betts, who has gotten media calls today from outlets as far afield as the BBC. While the Postal Service will be looking at ways to prevent a recurrence, Betts had enough of a sense of humor to pass on a comment from a spokeswoman for the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island who purported to speak on behalf of the true Lady Lib.
“As a 125-year old, she is highly flattered to be confused with a 14-year old.”