Mrs. Tavia Hunt just wanted to send Christmas cards to her friends and family with customized postage stamps recalling her family’s visit to Russia for the World Cup. To fully express herself through these greetings, Tavia ordered customized stamps featuring a portrait of her family in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, a site so well-known for its cultural and architectural significance that it is included as part of a UNESCO world heritage site. Tavia ordered these customized stamps through Zazzle, who, in conjunction with Stamps.com, is a United States Postal Service (“USPS”) approved licensed vendor for customized postage stamps.
After initially accepting her November order, Zazzle informed Tavia that her order was being canceled. Incredibly, Zazzle informed Tavia that the cancellation was due to the “religious” nature of her stamp, specifically the presence of St. Basil’s cathedral in the background. But, Zazzle indicated her order could be approved if the photo were cropped to make the cathedral “less obvious.”
A custom stamp for Christmas cards was just too religious for the USPS. But, there’s no good reason that a picture of a family vacation in front of a historic cathedral couldn’t be on a personal Christmas card. After all, the USPS issues several religiously-themed stamps each year.
After repeated phone calls and multiple emails between Tavia and customer service representatives with both Zazzle and Stamps.com who were clearly confused by the USPS regulation, Tavia’s order is still unfulfilled and, with just days before Christmas, her cards still haven’t been sent. In fact, Zazzle chose to indefinitely “pause” its production of all custom postage rather than run afoul of the USPS’s inexplicable and unconstitutional ban on religious images.
Read the full story at: Christmas Stamps