The Lempira Air Officials Issue of 1933


Lempira Monument in San Pedro Sula 1930

This issue is a circus of confusion. The name itself is the result of a person illiterate in Spanish and Honduran history cataloging Honduran stamps. The gringo did not know that the country had changed its monetary unit to use lempiras in place of the peso. Noting the lempira on the stamps the Anglo cataloger felt that they were commemeratives celebrating the Honduran freedom fighter named Lempira!

The governmental decree creating the stamps of seven denominations was vague on exactly which stamps current at the time were to be overprinted. It was a common occurance in 1933 for a person to receive from two sources of new issues, two distinct sets each labeled the Lempira issue! It is difficult not to conclude that the flurry of new types and varieties was result of managerial intent and direction since the infamous MembreƱo was his most active at that time. Shifting the cause to workman's haste or ignorance smacks of elitist condescension.

What follows is an attempt at a chronicle of possibilities.

20 centavo overprint

40 centavo overprint

60 centavo overprint

70 centavo overprint

90 centavo overprint

1 lempira overprint

1.20 lempira overprint

Airpost Journal. September 1936 7:12 pages 22-24. "The 1933 Lempira Issue" by A. Blank.
Airpost Journal. February 1944 vol. 15 page 146. "The Lempira Issue of Honduras" by J. Myer.
Billig's Philatelic Handbook. 1950 vol. 13 pages 111-113. "Lempira Airmail Issue 1933" by Irving Green.