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Universal Postal Union

Last modified: 2000-12-15 by rob raeside
Keywords: universal postal union | international organization | united nations |
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[Universal Postal Union] by Blas Delgado Ortiz, 24 June 2000

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History of the Flag

The history of the UPU flag, obtained from their own web site at
The UPU emblem is full of historic significance and takes its inspiration from the Universal Postal Union monument erected at the beginning of this century in Berne, where its headquarters are based. The bronze and granite statue commemorating the Union's foundation in 1874 was unveiled on 4 October 1909 and is the work of the French sculptor René de Saint-Marceau, a member of the Paris Académie des Beaux-Arts. He was chosen to execute the work following an international competition organized by the Swiss Government on the theme: "Around the world".

His masterpiece embodies the UPU's truly universal mission, depicting five messengers symbolizing the five continents as they pass letters round the globe.

The monument's symbolic representation gradually came to be accepted as the Union's distinctive emblem. The logo appeared for the first time in 1951 on the cover of Union Postale, the UPU review, and was then used on envelopes as well as on official documents of the International Bureau and other Union bodies. The Executive Council decided to adopt it as the Union's official emblem in 1967.

Presumably the flag came into use in 1967 as well.
Daniel U. Thibault, 1 December 2000

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