The Royal Mail is having to answer some embarrassing questions. Their 2019 “Best of British” stamp campaign was officially launched on Thursday. Normally the launch of a new stamp is only noticed by the most devoted philatelists, but not this one. One of the images on the new stamps caught the attention of military historians, too.
The new stamps highlight “British customs, engineering, photography, forests, as well as the bicentenaries of the birth of both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert,” Military Times writes.
The stamp collection “commemorates anniversaries and celebrates events and popular culture relevant to UK heritage and life,” the Royal Mail bragged.
Not all of them. On stamp celebrates British soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. This is, of course, D-Day. The landing is certainly worthy of celebration. But there’s a problem.
The stamp “actually features a photograph of U.S. troops wading ashore in Dutch New Guinea, nearly 8,500 miles away,” MT notes.
“Well done Royal Mail on your 75th anniversary stamps for 2019 commemorating the D Day landings. However, THIS stamp is NOT British troops. However, this is actually a photo of GIs landing in what is now Indonesia on May 17, 1944 – almost a month before D-Day. #DoYourHomework.”
“The image, taken one month before the D-Day landings, is an official U.S. Coast Guard photograph that was featured in a July 1944 issue of ‘All Hands’ magazine” MT adds. “It can be found in the digital archives of the National WWII Museum.”
“@RoyalMail I’d like to submit a photo for consideration for your D Day stamps. The below shows the men of D Company Ox’s and Bucks having a short break to regroup after taking Pegasus Bridge by glider. #DDay75” one user wrote.
“Can’t put my finger on it, but something feels a bit off about this new D Day stamp from the Royal Mail.”
The Royal Mail apologized for the mistake.
“We sincerely apologize that our 2019 Special Stamp preview included a design which had been incorrectly associated with the D-Day landings,” the mail service tweeted.
“This stamp design has not been printed. We would like to reassure our customers that this image will not be part of the final set.”
“The @RoyalMail D:Day commemorative stamps have been realised of allied forces storming Normandy beaches.”
It is a shame that they weren’t printed.