|Cyprus, like many other countries, is celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The issue of a commemorative stamp, decided by the Department of Postal Services of Cyprus since fall June 1988, falls within the framework of the above manifestations, placed under the aegis of the Cyprus Committee, personally presided by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. George Vassiliou. This 18cent stamp is intended for a wide circulation abroad and is of size and artistic quality which honour this great event. It will be circulated in July 7, on the occasion of the opening of the World Philatelic Exhibition PHILEXFRANCE 89 who will take place in Paris and in which Cyprus participates with its own stand.|
The Cypriot stamp which symbolically wants to how the contribution of the French revolution to the world, depict the new man emerging from the rights gained after hard struggles and great human sacrifice during the time of the revolution. This new man, like the great men of the revolution had in mind, is free from oppression servitude, and any kind of discrimination, enjoying all the natural rights of freedom, equality, and happiness, a man who has brotherly feelings for his fellowmen. A man of the world. This beautiful idea though internal and external conflict finally achieved an agreement which is symbolized by the tricolour colour which contains the colors of the monarchy (white) and of the city of Paris (blue and red), a picture which remain unchanged even after the fall of the monarchy, the picture of National Unity.
The Cypriot stamp depicts the universal man, the child of those great events that changed the world. The abstract head, pure and perfect, a form of universality reminds of the hard struggles of able men who left their mark on the French Revolution symbolized by the three colours that make it, but also the birth of a new mankind nourished by the rights of freedom granted to the individual by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen which here is symbolized by the movement of the foliage of a tree. The tree had really been one of the revolutionary symbols. The Tree of Freedom, "fruit of the live and germinating nature which strengthens and scatters its goods". In honour of this freedom 36,000 trees were planted this year.
Humankind is now enjoying the rights that give it dignity and will not stop heading towards progress, rich of the vast potential of the human mind and will have as an objective the completion of the individual here symbolized by ever reviving red-coloured flower, the picture of happiness, because according to Saint Juste, the Revolution will not stop until it achieves the "perfection of happiness". Full of sensitivity, love and brotherhood is goes on towards the future with confidence and strength.
What is depicted by the stamp is the most noble contribution of the French Revolution, a message even more dramatic when it comes from a harshly tried small country striving to make respectable on its own territory as well, the main and fundamental human rights.
Text: Dr. Jacqueline Karageorghis, Cyprus.
Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.