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Abstract

The year 2010 in Mexico marked both the 200th anniversary of the start of its independence movement and the 100th anniversary of its revolution. Besides several public events, a number of items including commemorative coins, banknotes, and stamps were produced to mark the occasion. This article analyses the postage stamps issued to commemorate the Mexican bicentennial. It does so by comparing these stamps with the ones issued for previous independence anniversaries, and then tracking changes and continuities in their messages. It is found that, on the one hand, the bicentennial postage stamps of Mexico promoted a particular narrative regarding the historical, territorial, and ethnic features of the Mexican independence process, which in many ways departs from previous, long-established nationalist narratives. But on the other hand, bicentennial stamps also demonstrate the influence of traditional interpretations of the national past – particularly those related to the Partido Revolucionario Institucional's (Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI) revolutionary nationalism doctrine – which are still being reproduced even after the 2000 democratic transition.