On December 27th, the British Royal Mail revealed its 2019 Special Stamp calendar. It showcases the “Best of British” programme, among other things commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
It’s time, our 2019 Special Stamp calendar has been revealed!
Showcasing the “Best of British” the programme features a range of subjects: from a celebration of the UK’s Birds of Prey to the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
More info here: https://t.co/URPaDpGyPX pic.twitter.com/IOYzejRNl7
— Royal Mail (@RoyalMail) December 27, 2018
The D-Day commemoration stamp in question is the following one:
The issue with the photograph is that it actually shows the “USS LCI(L)-30 landing troops carrying stretchers onto a beach during a second assault wave. US Coast Guard photo for ‘All Hands’ magazine, July 1944 issue (page 29). Similar to 2000.325.043. ‘2191-B-17.’ ‘U.S. Coast Guard Official Picture, 3rd Naval District.’ Sarmi, Dutch New Guinea, 17 May 1944.”
Essentially, the Royal Mail’s designers didn’t do their due diligence and presented US landing troops on the shores of Indonesia instead of British troops on D-Day.
On the following day, the Royal Mail apologized and said that the stamp would not be part of the final collection: “We work very hard to ensure that our Special Stamp programme appropriately commemorates anniversaries and events that are relevant to UK heritage and life. We would like to offer our sincere apologies that our preview release for our 2019 Special Stamp programme included a stamp design which had been incorrectly associated with the D-day landings.”
We sincerely apologise that our 2019 Special Stamp preview included a design which had been incorrectly associated with the D-Day landings.
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.
— Royal Mail (@RoyalMail) December 28, 2018
As it usually happens with such blunders posted on social media, users mocked the “commemorative stamp.”
I'm assuming you have had many people say this to you. BUT if not, on your Normandy landings 75th anniversary stamp, the image chosen actually depicts US troops disembarking from LCI(L) 30 at Dutch New Guinea in May 1944. Please correct this or you will look like idiots
— Paul Woodadge (@WW2TV) December 27, 2018
Too late. They look like Idiots. How hard would it have been to choose an appropriate photo and have it verified by a qualified Historian? @RoyalMail
— John Paul (@JohnPaul1771) December 28, 2018
Tory councilor Robert Barnard, on Twitter called for disciplinary action against the person signed the stamp off.
Incredible! Can we be told who signed off on this and what disciplinary action will result? @RoyalMail
— Cllr. Robert Barnard (@Cllr_Barnard) December 27, 2018
There were also alternative designs suggested by Twitter users:
Love the new Royal Mail D-Day stamps. pic.twitter.com/kyIy1VjJNr
— TameCrab (@TameCrab) December 28, 2018
Perhaps it's just me, but something about this new D-Day stamp doesn't look quite right. pic.twitter.com/YOTgp1oN9L
— Marc Morris (@Longshanks1307) December 27, 2018
— Nick Stone (@typejunky) December 27, 2018
Use this one, nobody will notice pic.twitter.com/VY4GV69SGB
— CW Service Eng (@ChrisWizzGTi) December 28, 2018
Some of the other stamps included the UK’s birds of prey, as well as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Other Twitter users also took part in some banter claiming that it is not Queen Victoria on the stamp (it actually is):
I’m sure you’ve been told numerous times, but that’s not Queen Victoria in 1859, it’s Gemma Collins dressed up for a Celebrity Big Brother task in 2016
— David Currie (@thedavidcurrie) December 28, 2018
While some former employees appeared to not even be surprised by the blunder:
Having worked 3 years for Royal Mail, this does not surprise me at all.
— SJ (@H_S_Sarah) December 28, 2018
More recently, an Iraqi-Iran war commemorative poster in Iran’s Shiraz showed soldiers from Israel’s Defense Forces. It wouldn’t be such a massive issue if Israel wasn’t basically Iran’s mortal nemesis.
Mission Completed: Shiraz, Iran
A tribute to the martyrs.
Pictured: IDF Soldiers.
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) September 26, 2018
For the record, this is the original picture.
Apparently whoever made the billboard finds women more offensive than Israelis. pic.twitter.com/Qmoug2smDp
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) September 26, 2018
The Mossad’s post actually makes a fair point, since they showed Israeli soldiers, but removed the woman from the photograph.
Earlier than that, the US Postal Service in 2011 issue a stamp showing the Statue of Liberty. It was not the one on Liberty Island, New York, however, but a replica from a Las Vegas casino.
The photo used on the stamp shows a rectangular patch on the crown that is present on the 14-year-old statue at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, but not on the (93m) copper statue in New York. In addition, the facial features on the Las Vegas replica are more sharply defined than on the original.
Mistakes like these are actually somewhat common since “modern” designers have limited or no knowledge of history and appear to be allergic to doing their due diligence.