|11/13/2012 1:38:00 PM|
Religious image stamps accepted
|One of the official holiday stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service features a silhouette of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt. The image, released Oct. 10, is a change from the portrayal of Madonna and child featured on the Christmas stamp for close to 50 years.|
Catholic News ServiceWhen the U.S. Postal Service unveiled its new Christmas stamp featuring an image of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt, there was no uproar about religion in the public square.
The post office doesn’t “really get comments” about the holiday stamps in general, most likely because of the diversity of stamps -- besides stamps with Christian imagery, there are those that commemorate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Muslim festivals.
The diversity in stamps, which may have quelled the naysayers, is fairly new. The first U.S. Christmas stamp debuted in 1962 with a wreath, two candles and the words “Christmas 1962.” Four years later the postal service issued what became more of the traditional Christmas stamp featuring a Renaissance painting of the Madonna and Child.
The other holiday stamps took longer to get their corner of the market. The Hanukkah stamp marking the eight-day Jewish festival of lights debuted in 1996. The Kwanzaa stamp for the African-American holiday first appeared in 1997 and the Eid stamp was not issued until 2001.