The Island of Pabay stamps will be available from September 9, the day the English and Scottish armies clashed in 1513, and are part of an eclectic range of items that also includes beers and tartans being created to remember this formative event in British history.
The two stamps – which each cost £1 – are being issued on a privately-owned island near Skye, off the west coast of Scotland, which has been creating its own stamps since the 1960s to carry mail from the island to the nearest collection point on the mainland.
People living on the island, where the population goes from 0 to 30 depending on the time of year, choose subjects for the stamps to mark themes in Scottish history.
The two Flodden stamps feature an image of the Flodden memorial on the battlefield in Northumberland and a stained glass window in Middleton Church, Manchester, commemorating the battle of Flodden. They were created in collaboration with the island’s 80-year-old postmaster, Jeff Harris.
Mr Harris said: “I had the idea of a Flodden stamp. Pabay issues stamps with many Scottish connections and the Battle of Flodden is a major event in Scottish history.
“The stamp will be released on September 9 and will remain available for as long as the Pabay Stamp operation exists. I am 80 and hopefully one of the family will take on the job when I have departed.”
The Battle of Flodden was a clash between Scottish King James IV and the English forces of Henry VIII led by Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey. James was killed on the blood-soaked Northumberland field, and 90 years later, the crowns of England and Scotland were united when the Tudor dynasty died with Elizabeth I and James VI of Scotland succeeded her as James I.
The Island of Pabay stamps join the many special items and events created to remember the 500th anniversary on both sides of the Border.
Commemorations of the event are being co-ordinated by the Flodden 1513 “ecomuseum”, a collection of sites linked to the battle which include the battle site itself, Norham Castle, Etal Castle, Edinburgh’s Flodden Wall and the Fletcher Monument in Selkirk. Edinburgh Castle, a stronghold of the 16th century Scottish monarchy, was recently added to the scheme.
Project co-ordinator Alistair Bowden said: “The Island of Pabay Flodden stamps are a great addition to 500th anniversary commemorations. The stamps are collected by people all over the world and they will help spread the message to a global audience.”
l Stamps and first-day covers can be ordered via the Island of Pabay’s website at http://www.pabay.org/