In 1897 El Salvador issued two stamps depicting the coat of arms of the Republic of Central America, a union with Nicaragua and Honduras that had been agreed to by treaty the preceding year but not at that time put into effect. The stamps were only in use for one month. Some early catalogues listed two types of each of the stamps (as well as the overprinted official issues depicted above) but the second types were later recognized as reprints. For the one centavo value, in the originals the mountains are outlined in red and blue. The sea is represented by short red and dark blue lines on a light blue background. In the reprints the mountains are outlined in red only and the sea is printed blurred green and dark blue ink. On the original stamps of the five centavo value the ocean is represented by horizontal and diagonal lines of dark blue on a light blue background. On the reprints the sea is printed in green and dark blue, much blurred. The inscription in gold is in thicker letters. These stamps are an interesting reminder of one brief episode in Central American politics.
The Republic of Central America was a union between Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador that existed between 1896 to 1898 as a result of the signing of the Treaty of Amapala on June 20, 1895. Following ratification by all three countries, the union was formally confirmed on September 15, 1896. The constitution came into effect on November 1, 1898 and the union was called "The United States of Central America." The capital was to be located at the Honduran town of Amapala but the union was dissolved following the seizure of power by General Tomás Regalado in El Salvador on November 21, 1898.
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