Stamps of 2023: Isle of Man (January 2023)

Jan. 6, 2023

The Treskelion

A triskelion or triskeles is an ancient motif consisting of a triple spiral exhibiting rotational symmetry. The spiral design can be based on interlocking Archimedean spirals, or represent three bent human legs. It is found in artefacts of the European Neolithic and Bronze Age with continuation into the Iron Age especially in the context of the La Tène culture and related Celtic traditions. The actual triskeles symbol of three human legs is found especially in Greek antiquity, beginning in archaic pottery and continued in coinage of the classical period.

In the Hellenistic period, the symbol became associated with the island of Sicily, appearing on coins minted under Dionysius I of Syracuse beginning in c. 382 BCE. It later appeared in heraldry, and, other than in the flag of Sicily, came to be used in the flag of the Isle of Man (known as ny tree cassyn “the three legs”).

Derived from an ancient sun symbol, the Celtic triskel had various meanings for the early Pagans: it was linked to triadic gods and the three domains of land, sea and sky and was also believed to represent the cycles of life, as well as the Triple Goddess — the maiden, mother and wise woman. It should not be surprising, therefore, to note that the Manx Parliament consists of three divisions – the House of Keys, Legislative Council and Tynwald. Nor the fact that the ancient open-air Tynwald ceremony at St John’s used to occur to greet the rising sun on Midsummer’s Day. The three-legged symbol, which indicated rotary movement, was regarded as representing the three-spoked wheel of the sun god’s chariot as it crossed the sky.

The legs are usually seen to run clockwise and the symbol often appears with the Latin motto ‘Quocunque Jeceris Stabit,’ meaning ‘it will stand whichever way you throw it’ – a reference to the independence and resilience of the Manx people, who prefer the version ‘whichever way you throw me, I will stand!’

Isle of Man Post Office is proud to issue this set of four stamps showcasing our famous ‘three legs’ triskelion, one of the oldest continually-used national symbols in the world.

For upwards of a thousand years, and probably more, they have been the symbol of Manxness and are still to be seen everywhere on the Island, from historical buildings, coins and banknotes to everyday commercial company branding, everyone identifies with the familiar ‘three legs of Man’.

This is the first Isle of Man stamp issue to feature the cypher of King Charles III. Lord of Mann.

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins

Our Stamps

The four graphic artworks on our stamps are derived from: the three legs as they appear in Douglas Town Hall; the triskelion design used to celebrate the Millennium of Tynwald (the 1000th anniversary of our national parliament in 1979); a three legs stone carving observed on a building in Castletown and a modern design interpretation of the three legs of Man.


We are very grateful to Emma Cooke for her enthusiasm for the subject and her generous donation of images for the issue.

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins

Images and Design: EJC Design
Text: Isle of Man Post Office
Printer: bpost
Process: Offset lithography
Colours: 4
Paper: Gummed FSC Securpost 110 GPW
Perforations: 11.5 per 2cm
Stamp Size: 40 x 31.66mm
Format: 2 x Sheets of 20 (5 x sets of 4)
Date of Issue: 6th January 2023
Limited Editions: Presentation Pack 1100; First Day Cover 1500

Jan. 14, 2023

Year of the Rabbit

The Chinese New Year, celebrated on 22nd January 2023, will see the beginning of one of the most prominently celebrated festivals on the planet. This year’s lunar animal, the Rabbit, is perceived as graceful, well-mannered and gentle.

Chinese New Year is the cause of the largest annual mass human migration in the world. It is a major holiday in Greater China and has strongly influenced the lunar new year celebrations of China’s neighboring cultures, including the Korean New Year, the Tết of Vietnam, and the Losar of Tibet.

Continuing the Isle of Man Post Office’s association with Chinese New Year, for 2023 we present the Year of the Rabbit designed in collaboration with artist and illustrator Stanley Chow.

“I’m so pleased to have ‘illustrating a set of stamps’ ticked off on my bucket list. It has always been something I’d wanted to do ever since I started illustrating. Doing this set was extra special as it celebrates my heritage… My parents would have been so proud!” – Stanley Chow

This issue continues the Isle of Man Post Office’s strong association with the theme, having released numerous stamp issues commemorating the start of the Chinese New Year and including the previous five years; in the Year of the Pig, the Year of the Dog, the Year of the Rat, the Year of the Ox, the Year of the Tiger and now that of the Rabbit.

The Rabbit is the fourth animal sign in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The 12 zodiac animals are the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Each year has an animal sign according to the 12-year-cycle and holds a special place in ancient Chinese cultural heritage.

Famous celebrity Rabbits include Albert Einstein, Whitney Houston, Roger Moore and Orson Welles.

We are honoured to have worked alongside artist Stanley Chow, born in Manchester to parents who emigrated from Hong Kong, Chow is a well-established artist and illustrator who has worked with a list of internationally recognised brands such as Manchester United, McDonald’s, Lego and Ed Sheeran.

Isle of Man Stamps & Coins

Design: Stanley Chow
Text: IOM Post Office
Printer: bpost
Process: Offset Lithography
Colours: 4 + PMS Metallic Gold
Paper: Gummed FSC Securpost 110 GPW
Perforation Gauge: 11.50 per 2cms
Stamp Size: 35 x 35mm
Format: Sheets of 20 (5 sets of 4)
Date of Issue: 14th January 2023
Limited editions: presentation pack 1750 – first day cover 2250 – Stanley Chow signed cover 150

One thought on “Stamps of 2023: Isle of Man (January 2023)

  1. Pingback: Stamps of 2023: Monthly Wrap-Up (January) | Mark Joseph Jochim

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