A miniature sheet of 4 stamps was issued on the occasion of the handover of the Olympic Flag from Beijing to London. This is a joint issue with China Post. The handover is a deeply significant ceremony, and takes place on the closing day of the Games, Sunday 24 August. As Royal Mail does not issue stamps on a Sunday (or a public holiday which the following day is), Royal Mail agreed with China Post and the IOC to issue the UK stamps on the Friday before the handover ceremony. The Chinese Post Office produced stamps of very similar design, which were be issued on 24 August.
The Chinese stamps exist in both self-adhesive form (the sheet shown below) and conventionally gummed. Our covers show below all have self-adhesive stamps.
The four 1st class stamps show landmarks in Beijing and London: the National Stadium, Beijing; the London Eye; the Tower of London; the Corner Tower, Forbidden City, Beijing. The Olympic rings are overlayed on the sheet by a silk-screened varnish layer.
The 115 x 76mm sheet was designed by why not associates and printed by Walsall Security Print in litho with silk screen. The stamps are in a new size, 33mm square. Photography credits: Tower of London - Britain on View; others - Alamy
The China Post stamps and sheet layout are shown below. (FDC images are copyright Norvic Philatelics 2008. All other images are Royal Mail or China Post Copyright 2008. )
Royal Mail will issue a first day cover, a presentation pack and a set of 5 stamp cards. No official Joint Cover is available from either Royal Mail or China Post. The Chinese stamps exist in two forms. The self-adhesive sheet of 12 is shown below, the stamps also exist conventionally gummed in sheets of 20. We have the sheet of 12, and the conventionally-gummed stamps (see list below).
We produced 20 covers for this sheet, priced at £5.95 All
Joint-Issue cover with the British and Chinese stamps, priced at
£8.50 All SOLD - postmarks FD820 or
L11056, the only one captioned 'Olympic Games'.
This is the final cover design, and with the British stamps split from the MS to properly fit on the cover, as shown in this (mock-up) image (35 produced).
Joint cover 24 August
We also produced 25 covers with the Chinese and British stamps both cancelled with 24 August postmarks.
The price of this is also £8.50. Add your name to our reserve list for these now.
Cotswold Official Cover
Cotswold's embossed cover is, we believe, one of only two designs which were licensed by the IOC to show the Olympic Flag and the words 'Olympic Games', and their sponsored postmark was the only one available which included the words. This makes this a very special cover - price only £8.50
Presentation Pack (See right)
Royal Mail FDCs
Set of 5 Stamp Cards
Mint sheet of 12 self-adhesive
Mint set of 4 (conventional gum)
Special postmarks available for the day of issue are shown here (not to scale). The deadline for obtaining special postmarks & FDCs was extended.
| Ref FD810
Official Philatelic Bureau Olympic Rings FD postmark
| Ref FD820
Official London E15* National Flags FD postmark
| Ref FD820NP
Official London E15* non-pictorial FD postmark
| Ref M11072
The Games Handover, Radcliffe Drive, Birmingham
| Ref L11054
Beijing, Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1
In use 5 Aug 08 - 4 Aug 09
| Ref L11056
Olympic Games Handover, London
| Ref L11063
The Games, Andover
| Ref L11060
Onwards to London, Stratford London E15
| Ref L11064
| Ref L11062
| Ref L11059
Handover of the Flag from Beijing to London, Wembley Middlesex
| Ref L11058
Handover of the Flag from Beijing to London, Stratford, London E15
| Ref L11057
Handover of the Flag from Beijing to London, White City, London W12
| Ref L11061
Games Road, Barnet
| Ref L11066
In Commemoration of the Closing of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, London E15
Note this is used on 24 August only
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If you have any questions about these stamps please email
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This page updated 15 October 2008
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