This paper is concerned with a universal pattern, which is defined as a character pattern designed to have high machine-readability. This universal pattern is a character pattern printed with stripes. The cross ratio calculated from the widths of the stripes represents the character class. Thus, if the boundaries of the stripes can be detected for measuring the widths, the class can be determined without ordinary recognition process. Furthermore, since the cross ratio is invariant to projective distortions, the correct class will be still determined under those distortions. This paper describes a practical scheme to recognize this universal pattern. The proposed scheme includes a novel algorithm to detect the stripe boundaries stably even from the universal pattern image contaminated by non-uniform lighting and noise. The algorithm is realized by a combination of a dynamic programming-based optimal boundary detection and a finite state automaton which represents the property of the universal pattern. Experimental results showed the proposed scheme could recognize 99.6% of the universal pattern images which underwent heavy projective distortions and non-uniform lighting.