The official insect of the state of Maryland, the black and orange Baltimore checkerspot butterfly graces the second butterfly stamp for use on large greeting card envelopes. Envelopes for many large cards requiring the additional postage will feature a silhouette of a butterfly to suggest the use of this stamp.
The stamp art was created on a computer, using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a highly stylized, simplified image of a Baltimore checkerspot rather than an exact replica.
Like the Baltimore oriole, this colorful butterfly is named after George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, who helped found the colony of Maryland. The butterfly’s colors resemble those on Calvert’s coat of arms, with orange and white spots forming a checkered pattern on black wings. The butterfly has an unusual life cycle. It spends the winter hibernating as a caterpillar, rolled up in a fallen leaf which it uses as a sleeping bag.
Nationally known artist Tom Engeman worked with art director Derry Noyes on this design.
The Baltimore Checkerspot First-Class Surcharge Rate stamps will be issued in panes of twenty. The square format of the stamp was developed in partnership with the greeting card industry to provide correct postage for cards requiring square or irregularly sized envelopes. Envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for extra postage, such as that supplied with 65-cent Baltimore Checkerspot stamp.