Norvic Philatelics - New GB stamps and special postmarks

White EnsignN-flagO-flagR-flagV-flagI-flag-flag Y-flag - I am carrying mails *

"White Ensign" Smilers Sheet - 21 June 2005

Royal Mail have announced the issue of another 'Flags' Smilers Sheet following the 'Rule Britannia' sheet issued last year.
The flag stamp was first issued as part of a miniature sheet in October 2001

The White Ensign is the flag of the Royal Navy, and is worn by all HM Ships in commission and by shore establishments. Some Civilian authorities with Naval connections have been granted permission to use it in special circumstances. Before 1864 the Fleet comprised 3 Squadrons using the Red, White and Blue Ensigns respectively. The present design dates from 1801.

The isssue of this sheet appears to be totally unconnected with either the Bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar or the Anniversary of the end of World War 2, which is an opportunity missed, I think.

21 June 2005 Naval signal flags Smilers Sheet with the 2001 1st class White Ensign stamp

Sailors will recognise the flags on the labels as:

K - I wish to communicate with you Z - I require a tug J - I am on fire M - I am stopped
V - I require assistance C - Yes, affirmative B - dangerous goods Y - I am dragging my anchor*
N - No, negative P - The Blue Peter - about to leave X - Stop your intentions S - My engines are going astern
E - I am altering my course to starboard O - Man overboard H - I have a pilot on board A - I have a diver below
I - I am altering my course to port D - Keep clear G - I require a pilot L - You should stop immediately

* Note: the Y flag is shown on the sheet as "I am dragging my anchor". For some reason it is also used to signal "I am carrying mails". Thus the banner at the top of the page reads: N O R V I C - we are carrying mails" !

Technical details:
Designed by Webb and Webb, the sheet is printed in litho by Walsall Security Print so this produces a new stamp as the original stamps were printed by Questa in gravure.
Stamp and postmark images are taken from Royal Mail's Philatelic Bulletin and Postmark Bulletin, and are Copyright 2005 by Royal Mail.

Postmarks for use on the day of issue:

Admiral Lord Nelson Cartoon Ship in Bottle with White Ensign the Mary Rose Smeaton's Tower - Lighthouse
Ref M9614
Horatio Nelson, Burnham Thorpe, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Ref N9616
The White Ensign, Flagg, Buxton
Ref L4674
Royal Mail Portmsouth - The Mary Rose
Ref W4673
Royal Mail Plymouth - Smeaton's Tower
Royal Navy bases at both these locations

Norvic Exclusive First Day Covers

We have produced an exclusive cover for this issue showing HMS Victory in Portsmouth Harbour, and the Stature of Lord Nelson outside Norwich Cathedral. This cover will be used with postmark M9614, as shown. Covers with single stamps will have the stamp at top right.

Norvic first day cover for White Ensign Smilers stamp showing Admiral Lord Nelson and HMS Victory

This alternative cover depicting the White Ensign and piece of public sculpture will be used with other postmarks:

Norvic first day cover for White Ensign Smilers stamp showing White Ensign and flag sculpture

Sets of 4 will be as shown; single covers with 5 stamps will be any one of the above; single cover with one stamp will be the one shown at top right. 5-stamp cover will have stamps from a vertical strip on the sheet. A single stamp design is used here are to illustrate the appearance of the covers only.

Prices (for either cover):
Cover with a single stamp and label - price 3.50 each
Cover with a split strip of 5 stamps and labels - price 5.50 each
Set of 4 covers with 4 split strips of 5 stamps & labels - price 17.50
There will be no Royal Mail FDCs for these stamps.
Mint sheet - 7.85     Any single stamp 0.55 

This page updated 12 June 2005

2005 stamp issues
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Farm Animals
British Journey - South West England
24 Jane Eyre & Brontes prestige book
Magic Circle Centenary
22 Wilding Castles Miniature Sheet
New definitives
8 Royal Wedding
21 World Heritage Sites
26 Definitive reprints provisional date
Definitive reprints provisional date
Trooping the Colour
Smilers sheet - Flag stamp, White Ensign
21 Definitive reprints provisional date
End of World War II
19 British Motorcycles
London 2012 Olympics
Europa - Gastronomy
Independent Television 50th Anniversary
Small greetings definitives & Smilers
18 Battle of Trafalgar
Christmas Robins Smilers Sheet
2006 programme