The Overrun Countries Commemorative Issue
September 14, 1943

By Hal Klein

There was a choice of two flags of Belgium and was again decided not to use the Royal Standards for the Belgium stamp, but instead chose the Belgian Ensign, Merchant and National flag as the design. On August 9, 1943 the Post Office announced that the sixth stamp of the Overrun Countries Series would be honoring Belgium and the stamp would be placed on sale in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 1943.

On August 28 the die proof was approved Postmaster General and on September 4 the first delivery of stamps was made to the Post Office in Washington and the Philatelic Agency. Ten days later these stamps were placed on sale at the White House and the main post office in Washington, D.C. Ceremonies in connection with the release of the issue in simple ceremonies held at the While House in Wash ington, D.C., with the first sheet sold to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The ceremonies were by the Belgian Ambassador to the United States, Count Don der Straten Ponthoz. The Ambassador purchased the second sheet, which was autographed by the President and Postmaster General.

There were sales on the first day of519,859 stamps and total of 154,220 first day covers cancelled. The Bel gium stamps were printed from the top half of the plate and registration markers are found on top strips. This was the only issue to show Yellow ink in the Registration Marker. Approximately 28% of the entire issue was sold at the Philatelic Agency, where the stamps remained on sale until February 3, 1945.