This page last updated: 15 May 2020

No. 75 flying goose cover

Five of Scott No. 75, with the center stamp showing the Flying Goose flaw, on a cover dated July 26, 1898, addressed to Quebec Province, Canada.

Nine stamps comprise the Pictorial Issue. All nine were printed by the American Bank Note Company in New York. Five stamps were issued February 28, 1894. E. W. Holdsworth designed the five stamps put on sale February 28, 1894, having won a design competition. Another stamp followed on October 27, 1894. Three more stamps were issued in 1899. The 1899 stamps were color changes from three of the first five stamps and were issued after Hawaii was a United States possession. Please see Pictorial Issue Plate Arrangements for the three different plate arrangements used in printing the Pictorial Issue. For examples of Pictorial Issue stamps on foreign destination covers, please see UPU Later Issues on Cover and for examples of Pictorial Issue stamps on local and interisland mail, please see Pictorial Issue Stamps on Domestic Covers.

When the five cent stamp of 1894 was issued, the philatelic press widely regarded it as an error because the word "Cents" was omitted from the design and no "c" followed the "5". Speculation drove up the price as collectors and dealers awaited news of an immediate replacement - news that never came so prices fell. However, when the color changes were made in 1899, the word "Cents" was added to the design of the five cent stamp.

Three different governments issued the nine stamps of the Pictorial Issue. The first five stamps were issued by the Provisional Government, created in 1893 to provide an interim government following the revolution of January 17. The Republic of Hawaii was established July 4, 1894, and the twelve cents stamp was issued by the Republic of Hawaii on October 27, 1894. The twelve cents stamp is the only one of these nine stamps to bear the name "Republic of Hawaii". Hawaii was annexed to the United States on August 12, 1898. After annexation, the formerly independent "Republic of Hawaii" continued to exist as a United States possession for purposes of conducting all internal affairs, including the operation of its independent postal service. The Republic of Hawaii as a possession of the United States ceased when Territorial status was established on June 14, 1900. The final three Pictorial stamps were issued by the Republic of Hawaii, a possession of the United States.

Before June 14, 1900, stamps of the United States were distributed to all the Hawaiian post offices. A minor run on Hawaiian stamps occurred before the change to territorial status and at midnight on June 13, all Hawaiian stamps became invalid for postage. Remaining stocks of Hawaiian stamps were sent to Honolulu on June 15 where they were boxed and sent to Washington, D. C. and burned on February 9, 1901. Interim accounts were made of the remainders but a final accounting has not been located so the total number of stamps destroyed is somewhat uncertain. Please see Pictorial Issue Quantities for details of the quantities issued for each stamp of the Pictorial Issue with an approximate figure for the number burned of each stamp.


FEBRUARY 28, 1894

Scott No. 74
Scott No. 75

Scott No. 74

Scott No. 75

Scott No. 76
Scott No. 77
Scott No. 79

Scott No. 76

Scott No. 77

Scott No. 79


OCTOBER 27, 1894

This stamp is the only Hawaiian postage stamp bearing the "Republic of Hawaii" name.

Scott No. 78

Scott No. 78



Scott No. 81
Scott No. 80
Scott No. 82

Scott No. 81,
February 2, 1899

Scott No. 80,
June 7, 1899

Scott No. 82,
July 21, 1899


Only one major error exists in the Pictorial Issue. A single pane (50 stamps) of Scott No. 81, the 2 salmon of 1899, was issued without horizontal perforations. This stamp was produced on a plate of 200 images arranged in four panes of 50 images each (layout VII). After printing, the sheets were run through the perforating machine. One sheet of four panes escaped the horizontal perforating pins. Only one of the four panes was actually issued. Imperforate horizontally stamps are Scott No. 81b. They must be collected in multiples of at least a pair to be certain the stamps are genuine No. 81b.

Scott 81 imperf pair


Of the Pictorial Issue stamps, Scott No. 75, the 2 brown Honolulu Harbor, provides some interesting varieties. There are many transfer flaws on these stamps and several corrosion flaws, one of which is prominent enough to earn the nickname "Flying goose." The flying goose flaw also appears on the 1899 2, Scott No. 81, which has its own much fainter set of transfer flaws. Transfer flaws and plate flaws are also found on Scott No. 78.


Scott Nos. 75 and 81 were printed on plates of 200 stamps. The printed sheet was cut into quarters of fifty stamps each before being shipped to Hawaii. Stamps thus can be assigned to one of four panes. Scott No. 75 went through four printings. Before the fourth printing, the plate was re-entered. We thus have three printings of the original state of the plate, State I, and one printing of the re-entered plate, State II. Scott No. 81 had two printings, both on the re-entered plate of State II. Each printing of Nos. 75 and 81 was of 1,250,000 stamps (312,500 from each pane). Full sheets are known for six of the eight panes of Scott No. 75, panes UR I and UL I being the exceptions. Full sheets are identified for all four panes of Scott 81.

Sometime during the fourth printing of Scott No. 75 (State II), corrosion flaws began to appear on the stamps in positions 48 and 49 of the lower right pane (48LR II and 49LR II) and in the margin above position 49. The flaw in the center of the sky in position 48LR II grew progressively until it resembled a large flying bird in the sky. All Scott No. 81 stamps are of State II so the fully developed corrosion flaw in the center of the sky appears on all examples of 48LR of Scott No. 81. How many stamps of 48LR II of Scott No. 75 have the fully developed flaw is uncertain. In all 6,250 stamps of 48 LR II were printed of Scott No. 75, but fewer than 1,000 were printed with a fully developed flaw. Examples of 48LR II of Scott No. 75 exist without any sign of the flaw and other examples show only a small dot where the larger flaw grew. Of Scott No. 81, 12,500 stamps were printed from 48LR II.

Scott 75 flying goose strip

Bottom row of Scott 75, LR II, position 48 with the flying goose flaw is in the center. The American Bank Note name is visible in the selvage below the stamp. The name appears in the center at the top and bottom of each pane.

Scott 75 flying goose - early - detail
Scott 75 flying goose
Scott 81 flying goose

Position 48LR II
Early Corrosion Flaw
Scott No. 75

Position 48LR II
Full Corrosion Flaw
Scott No. 75

Position 48LR II
Full Corrosion Flaw
Scott No. 81


Scott 75, particularly State I, is known for its multiple transfer flaws affecting many positions. Most of the transfer flaws evident in State I disappeared in the re-entry of the plate, but some new ones, albeit faint, appeared and vestiges of some old transfer flaws remained. These flaws make Scott 75 a fun and fertile field for plating. The stamp is inexpensive and there are two hundred varieties. Examples:

Scott 75 LL48 A
Scott 75 LL 29
Scott 75 LR 4

48LL I,
transfer flaw in "A"

29LL I,
transfer flaws in "WAII"

4LR I,
transfer flaws in "CENT"


Scott No. 78 was produced in a sheet of 100 stamps divided into two panes set side by side. Before shipping, the panes were separated. Thus, the sheets issued at the post office were of 50 stamps each. Stamps are assigned to the Left pane (L) or right pane (R).

Transfer flaws can be detected under strong magnification in every stamp on both panes. They show up in the letters "LIC" in the word "REPUBLIC" but only three are truly noticeable.

Scott 78 L44
Scott 78 R44 1200
Scott 78 R50 1200




Plate flaws also occur on many stamps but are noticeable only on three. In R5, there is a ragged horizontal line running from near the bow of the ship, through the letters II and on into the selvage. In R30, a clean vertical line runs from near the stern up through the B. In R35, a clean vertical line runs from the top of the mast to the top of the design (difficult to show in the image). Entry lines can also be seen on many stamps. They appear as horizontal or vertical lines above the letters C and the word OF or between the words REPUBLIC and OF. A good example is R31.

Scott 78 R5
Scott 78 R30 1200
Scott 78 R35 1200
Scott 78 R31 1200





Production flaws also happened causing paper folds and perforation errors. Here are two examples:

Scott 75 paper fold flaw
Scott 75 perf flaw
Scott 74 misperfed

Paper Fold Flaw

Perforation Flaw

Misregistration Flaw


Hawaii sent mint examples of the new stamps to the Universal Postal Union in Geneva, as required by UPU rules. The UPU in turn distributed them to member countries where the normal practice was to handstamp them with the word "SPECIMEN". However, Portugal used the word "ULTRAMAR" and examples with this handstamp are found in the marketplace today.

Scott 80 - 1200 ultramar



  • Hitt, Henry C., "Error Transfers on The Hawaii 1894-99 Two Cent Brown", The American Philatelist, Vol. 61, No. 2 [562], p. 133-143, November, 1947. Scott Nos. 75 and 81; an essential reference for the plating of these stamps. Mr. Hitt's famous pre-World War II exhibit of these stamps remains virtually intact.

  • Schwalm, Albert J., Plating Hawaii's 1894-99 Two Cent Stamp, Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Stamp Club, Houston, 1973. The key reference work on this subject.

Pictorial Earliest Documented Uses:

Scott No. Value/Color Issue Date EDU Notes
74 1 yellow Feb. 28, 1894 Feb. 28, 1894 First day cover; multiple
75 2 brown Feb. 28, 1894 Feb. 28, 1894 First day cover; multiple
76 5 lake Feb. 28, 1894 Feb. 28, 1894 First day cover; multiple
77 10 green Feb. 28, 1894 Feb. 28, 1894 First day cover; multiple
79 25 dark blue Feb. 28, 1894 Feb. 28, 1894 First day cover; multiple
78 12 blue Oct. 27, 1894 Oct. 27, 1894 Locally addressed first day cover
81 2 salmon Feb. 2, 1899 Feb. 6, 1899 On cover from Honolulu to Molokai
80 1 green June 7, 1899 June 9, 1899 Honolulu to Philadelphia
82 5 dark blue July 21, 1899 July 21, 1899 Honolulu to Sioux City, Iowa

Copyright © 1999 - 2020 POST OFFICE IN PARADISE. All rights reserved.