Singapore became an independent nation on 9 August 1965. Every stamp issue, starting from its first in 1966, has mirrored the different aspects of the nation. These stamps have showcased our political, economic and social development, our vibrant multiracial culture; our arts and crafts; our flora and fauna; and our links with the world.
First Republic Stamps
The country's first stamp issue as a republic was a commemorative stamp issue that marked its first anniversary of independence in 1966. The set of three stamps proudly proclaimed itself as an issue of the "Republic of Singapore". The different elements in the stamp highlight the important issues of the period – workforce, industries and housing. The country embarked on an industrialisation programme to attract foreign investment and at the same time creating jobs for the people. Another urgent issue was housing for the fast-expanding population.
1st Anniversary of Republic of Singapore
First Definitive Issue
The Republic’s first definitive stamps, issued in 1968 and 1969, depict the traditional dances, masks, costumes and musical instruments of the Chinese, Indians and Malays. The rich colours of this beautiful set of 15 hand-painted stamps capture the essence of the local cultural scene in the 1960s.
With racial unrest having occurred just four years earlier, these stamps were a timely and deliberate reminder that racial harmony would always be a cornerstone of the new Republic.
1968 & 1969
Masks and Dances
First Miniature Sheet
Singapore's very first miniature sheet was printed in 1969 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. The stamps trace the development of Singapore from 1819 as a British trading post to independence.
150th Anniversary of the Founding of Singapore
Singapore Lion Head
Introduced in 1986 as an alternative national symbol, the Lion Head is depicted on all stamps starting from the ‘20 Years of National Service’ issue in 1987. The lion is used as the name Singapore was derived from “Singa Pura” which means “Lion City”. The five partings on the Lion’s mane, represents the five ideals - democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality - are as embodied in the five stars of the National Flag.
20 Years of National Service, 1987