2018 50¢ Dragons – Black Dragon with Green Wings
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Letter Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: August 9, 2018
First Day City: Columbus, Ohio
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Hot Foil Stamping
Format: Pane of 16
Quantity Printed: 30,000,000
While the common image of a dragon is a fire-breathing beast protecting its treasures in a cave, many cultures have stories about water-dwelling dragons.
In Ancient Babylon, Tiamat was the goddess of the salt sea and wife of Abzû, the god of fresh water. Their marriage represented the mixing of the waters in the middle Persian Gulf, where fresh water meets the sea. Originally, stories presented Tiamat as the creator of the universe, peacefully creating the cosmos over generations. In later stories, she is depicted as a creature of chaos. After her husband is killed, she becomes a massive dragon and creates an army of sea dragons and monsters and seeks revenge. She is then killed and her body divided to create the heavens and Earth.
One of the most infamous sea dragons is Leviathan. Leviathan appears in the texts and folklore of several cultures. In the Hebrew Bible, Leviathan likely represents conflicts with Babylon. Jewish writings sometimes refer to Leviathan as a female monster who will be slain to feed the righteous. Meanwhile, Christian texts use Leviathan to represent Satan threatening to flood the world in the waters of chaos.
Tiamat and Leviathan are examples of Chaoskampf, a legendary battle between a sea monster and hero, which represents a clash between order and chaos.