The Overrun Countries Commemorative Issue
June 22, 1943

By Hal Klein

The Netherlands have two flags, one being the Royal Standard and the other used as the National flag, the Merchant flag and as an Ensign. This design, used for three purposes, was selected as the flag to appear on the stamp honoring the Netherlands.

Only July 10, 1943, the die proof was approved and on the 26th of that month, the Post Office Department announced that this stamp would be issued August 24 at Washington, D.C. On August 17 the first delivery was made by Bureau of Engraving and Printing to the Post Office in Washington , D.C. One week later the Netherlands stamp was placed on sale. Ceremonies in connection with the first sheet of these stamps were held in the office of Vincent C. Burke, Washington Postmaster. Roy M. North, Deputy Third Assistant Postmaster General sold the first sheet to Dr. Alexander London, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States. The first day totals were 537,720 stamps sold and 148,763 covers cancelled.

There were 20,000,000 of these stamps delivered to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from the American Bank Note Company. The Philatelic Agency sold 25.44% of the stamp issue, 5,088,000. Copies were available at the Philatelic Agency until February 3,1945. The stamps from this issue were all printed from the two bottom panes of the same plate that printed the Luxembourg stamps.