Jubilee postage stamp dedicated to 150th anniversary of Johan Pitka’s birth will be issued

This Saturday, 19 February, Omniva will issue a postage stamp dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Rear Admiral Johan Pitka’s birth.

‘We are honoured to safeguard and preserve our historical memory and issue a jubilee postage stamp to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Rear Admiral Johan Pitka, a great man who fought for Estonian independence,’ said Mart Mägi, Chairman of the Management Board of Omniva. ‘Great figures from Estonian history have features on stamps before. For example, Johann Laidoner and Julius Kuperjanov have been captured on a stamp, among others.’  
The jubilee postage stamp features Johan Pitka’s portrait against the background of the Estonian tricolour with the Cross of Liberty I/1 which was awarded to him in 1920. His most significant achievements are also listed: founder of the Estonian naval forces, armoured trains, the Defence League, and the border guard. The postage stamp was designed by Vladimir Taiger and it was printed in the printing house Vaba Maa.
The edition size of the postage stamp is 30,000 and its nominal price is 0.90 euros, i.e. the tariff of a standard domestic letter.  The postage stamp can be purchased from the online store of Omniva and in post offices all across Estonia from 19 February.  The postage stamp will be issued together with a first-day cover. First day of issue stamps will also be available at the Finest post office at Pärnu mnt 22 in Tallinn. In parallel, the Bank of Estonia will also issue a commemorative silver coin which will also be available for purchase from 1 p.m. on Saturday, 19 February in the online store of Omniva.
Rear admiral Johan Pitka (1872–1944) was an Estonian entrepreneur, sea captain, and one of the founding fathers of Estonia. He was one of the organisers of the Estonian national units and the Militia of Tallinn in 1917 and one of the founders of the Defence League a year later. Pitka took part in the Estonian War of Independence on the first armoured train on the Narva front and served as the chief of the naval force and battle fleet in 1919–1920. His role as the creator of the Defence League, armoured trains, armoured cars, the border guard, and the Estonian naval force earned him the respectful monikers of ‘the father of armoured trains’ and ‘the soul of the War of Independence’. In August 1944, Pitka as the Commander in Chief of the military forces of Otto Tief’s government formed the Löögirühm Admiral Pitka (Strike Unit Admiral Pitka) commando to mount resistance against the Soviet forces. The last reliable information about Pitka’s whereabouts are from September 1944. The circumstances of his death and his burial place remain unknown to this day.
In 2022, Omniva will issue twenty-six postage stamps that depict important events and people in our country and society.


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