Åland stamps carrying a message of peace

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On 9 May, Åland Post issues two stamps in the Europa 2023 stamp series on the theme peace. One stamp depicts the motif, which won PostEurop’s design competition. The other motif shows Åland Post’s competition entry, designed by Finnish illustrator Sofia Pusa: “I wanted the theme of peace to come through clearly in the illustration. I chose to place this symbol with maritime roots in a new context and link it to something new to bring joy to the observer.”

PostEurop, the joint association representing European postal operators, made the decision at short notice to switch to a theme of peace for 2023 on the suggestion of Ukraine Post. At the same time a design competition was announced, and Åland Post was one of 29 postal services to submit an entry for a shared stamp motif that is now being issued by all participating postal services. The competition was won by Post Luxembourg. The artists Linda Bos and Runa Egilsdottir describe their vision as follows: 

“The world needs a new symbol of peace that unites all nations. Our design depicts a visual metaphor for a peaceful, integrated, and cooperative society, where humans embrace each other’s cultures. It was inspired by the Celtic love knot symbol with its interwoven hearts and colour palette illustrating all the nations of the world.”

The second stamp shows Åland Post’s design entry and is the work of Finnish illustrator and debut stamp designer Sofia Pusa. She has delivered a fresh take on the peace symbol. 

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“I decided on the familiar peace symbol to ensure that the theme of peace came through clearly in the image. I also found that Gerald Holtom’s peace sign, created for a campaign for nuclear disarmament in 1958, had maritime roots, so that tied in a fresh, new way with Åland, which is nicknamed the Islands of Peace. To avoid clichés, I decided to include the symbol in the form of the sun and its rays, rising over the rocky red granite cliffs of the Åland archipelago”, Sofia explains.

Facts about the issue

  • Name of issue 2023 Europa - Peace
  • Date of issue 9 May 2023 
  • Artists Linda Bos, Runa Egilsdottir & Sofia Pusa
  • Design Johanna Finne 
  • Editions 2 × 45 000 
  • Denominations 2 × Europa
  • Price FDC €6.60 
  • Stamp size 35 × 35 mm 
  • Sheet size 2 × 15 stamps
  • Paper 110 g/m2 
  • Perforation 13 per 2 cm 
  • Process 4-colour offset
  • Printer Cartor Security Printers

Order stamps and first day cover in the web shop at alandstamps.com, by post to Åland Post Stamps, P.O. box 1100, AX-22111 Mariehamn, Åland, Finland, e-mail [email protected] or telephone: +358 18636639

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