Stamp Advisory Committee
The Stamp Advisory Committee (SAC) is a committee to advise on the design of British postage stamps.


The committee was originally established as an independent body under the auspices of the Council of Industrial Design. On 21 February 1968 a new Post Office
General Post Office
General Post Office is the name of the British postal system from 1660 until 1969.General Post Office may also refer to:* General Post Office, Perth* General Post Office, Sydney* General Post Office, Melbourne* General Post Office, Brisbane...

 appointed committee was set up and today the SAC advises the United Kingdom's Royal Mail
Royal Mail
Royal Mail is the government-owned postal service in the United Kingdom. Royal Mail Holdings plc owns Royal Mail Group Limited, which in turn operates the brands Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide...

 on their stamp issuing policy.

Work of the committee

Royal Mail select the subject of upcoming stamp issues and appoint designers to draw up a variety of different possible design for each issue. The committee then review the possible design and advise Royal Mail which they think is the best.The committee's recommendations are not binding on Royal Mail, nor does it select new subjects for stamp issues.

The committee is drawn from all walks of life but includes particularly designers, Royal Mail representatives and a British Government representative.

No guidelines for stamp issues are provided to either the SAC or Royal Mail.

The records of the SAC have been archived at the British National Archives along with other records of Royal Mail and its predecessors and are available for the public to view as the 30 year embargo elapses.


The subjects chosen for British stamps have often been controversial. In 1996 for instance, questions were asked in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 about the choice of a stamp showing the British children's television character Muffin the Mule
Muffin the Mule
Muffin the Mule is a puppet character in British television programmes for children. The original programmes featuring the character were presented by Annette Mills, sister of John Mills, & aunt to Hayley Mills, and broadcast live by the BBC from their studios at Alexandra Palace from 1946 to 1952...

 over one showing the designer William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 and a government minister was forced to explain that such choices were not part of the work of the SAC.

The choice of subjects for a set honouring 20th Century Women of Achievement was equally controversial.

And in 1964, Sir Kenneth Clark resigned as Chairman of the committee in protest at the increasing commercialism of the Post Office's stamp issuing policy.

External links

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