"Regional" stamps for Northern Ireland

There were problems creating the Northern Ireland definitives because of a lack of symbols representative of Ulster and that weren't undesirable features of political significance.

The committee decided on five symbols:

  • the Red (right) Hand of Ulster
  • the Arms of Northern Ireland (without supporters)
  • the six-pointed Crowned Star with the Red Hand
  • the Flax Plant (with or without leaves)
  • a Field Gate with typical Ulster pillars

The shamrock was not mentioned as representing the whole of Ireland, even though it had appeared on the national definitives. The Red Hand, an emblem of the O'Neills (the royal house of Ulster) since ancient times was a must to be included in the design.

Five local artists were recommended:

  • Thomas Collins
  • Leonard Pilton
  • William Hollywood
  • Colin Middleton
  • Miss T Robinson

A total of 24 sketches were submitted. Essays were produced of five designs by Hollywood, Pilton and Collins with various amendments. One from each designer became the first choices, which were approved by The Queen.

1958 Stamps for Northern Ireland
Armorial Bearings of N. Ireland

Armorial Bearings of N. Ireland

Unadopted design by Leonard Pilton

Unadopted design by Leonard Pilton

Unaccepted design by W. Hollywood

Unaccepted design by W. Hollywood

Issued 3d stamp

Issued 3d stamp

Issued 6d stamp

Issued 6d stamp

Issued 1/3 stamp

Issued 1/3 stamp


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