Postal code

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Postcodes are generally clearly visible outside Australia Post offices.
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A Dutch postcode book, dating from when postcodes were introduced to The Netherlands in 1978. Many countries provide the public with books in which a postcode can be looked up.
A postal code (known in various countries as a post code, postcode, or ZIP code) is a series of letters and/or digits appended to a postal address for the purpose of sorting mail.

Germany was the first country to introduce a postal code system, in 1941. The United Kingdom followed in 1959 and the United States in 1963.

In February 2005, 117 of the 190 member countries of the Universal Postal Union had postal code systems. Examples of countries that do not have national systems include Ireland, Hong Kong, Panama and Vietnam.

Although postal codes are usually assigned to geographical areas, special codes are sometimes assigned to individual addresses or to institutions that receive large volumes of mail, such as government agencies and large commercial companies. One example is the French Cedex system.

Usage conventions

Postal services have their own formats and placement rules for postal codes. In most English-speaking countries, the postal code forms the last item of the address, whereas in most continental European countries it precedes the name of the city or town.

National prefixes

In some countries (for instance continental Europe, where many countries use the same postcode format of four or five numeric digits) it is advisable to prefix the numeric postal code with a country code to avoid confusion when sending international mail to or from that country. The codes used are generally based on Licence plate codes — for instance "D-" for Germany or "F-" for France — rather than ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. Note the ISO Alpha 2-codes are recommended.

Alphanumeric postal codes

Most postal codes are numeric. The few using alphanumeric postal code systems (with letters and digits) are:

Postal zone numbers

Before postal codes as described here were used, large cities were often divided into postal zones or postal districts, usually numbered from 1 upwards within each city. The newer postal code systems often incorporate the old zone numbers, as with London postal district numbers, for example. Ireland, still uses postal district numbers in Dublin, with An Post relying on OCR analysis of the entire address to direct mail outside the capital. In New Zealand, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were divided into postal zones, but these have fallen into disuse.

Postal codes in particular countries


In Algeria, the postal codes of province capitals are composed of the province code and three zeros, for example: 16000 for Algiers, while the postal codes of other cities, towns, and villages in the province are the provincial code follwed by three numerals. See "list of postal codes of Algerian cities" for the postal codes of all of Algeria's 1,541 municipalities, and other places with their own postal code.


Australian postcodes are numeric, consisting of four digits. They were introduced in 1967 by the Postmaster-General's Department (PMG), the predecessor of Australia Post. For a history of the PMG / Australia Post see here.


Belgian post codes are numeric and consist out of 4 numbers, although the last one is often zero. The first digit indicates the province (except for the 3xxx numbers that are shared by the eastern part of Flemish Brabant and Limburg and the and 1xxx that are shared by the Brussels Capital Region, the western part of Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant), the other numbers were given more or less at random. The more zeros though the higher the number of inhabitants of that city in the province. For example: Brugge is the capital and largest urban centre of the coastal province of West Flanders so it gets the 8000 code, the second city is Kortrijk and gets 8500. When writing the address, the postal code is put in front of the town name.

Special numbers are reserved for the EU institutions, NATO headquarters, public and commercial broadcasters (RTBF, RTL TVi, VRT and VTM), the different parliaments and other public institutions. Check out: List of postal codes in Belgium.


Postcodes in Brazil follow a nationwide scheme known as CEP (Código de Endereçamento Postal) (Postal Addressing Code) introduced in 1972 as a sequence of five digits. To keep mail services up with economic growth, a three-digit suffix was added in 1992.

Most cities with population around 100,000 and above have a CEP assigned to every public place and to some high-occupancy private spaces, like major commercial buildings and large residential condos. Small towns are assigned a general code, usually with attributed town code followed by the suffix -000.

Correios, Brazil's mail service, requests (but not requires) that the code be placed in the last line of the address and although totally unrequired (and even unwanted by automatic sorting machines) the acronym CEP is usually placed before the code, e.g. CEP 29145-586.

Valid examples for mailing in Brazil are:

Editora Peixes S.A.
Rua Helena, 260, 4º andar
Vila Olímpia
São Paulo - SP
CEP 04552-050


Editora Peixes S.A.
Rua Helena, 260, 4º andar
Vila Olímpia
São Paulo - SP

Any CEP code can be obtained from Correio's website, if you have a Flash plugin [1] (in Portuguese).


Postal codes used in the Brunei are alphanumeric, consisting of two letters followed by 4 digits in the format of YZ0000, where Y denotes the district code, Z denotes the mukim code, the first 2 digits denote the area or village code and the last 2 digit denotes the nearest post office code eg. the postal code for Pantai Mentiri Golf Club is BU2529


Bulgarian postcodes are numeric, consisting of four digits.


Main article: Canadian postal code
A Canadian postal code is a string of six characters in the format X9X 9X9, where X is a letter and 9 is a digit, with a space separating the third and fourth characters. An example is K1A 0B1, which is for Canada Post's Ottawa headquarters. The postal code H0H 0H0 is reserved for letters to Santa Claus.

Cape Verde

Cape Verdean postal codes are numeric, consisting of four digits. The first digit indicates the island.


Postal codes in the People's Republic of China have six digits. The first two digits show the province, province-equivalent municipality, or autonomous region; the third digit the postal zone; the fourth digit the prefectures or prefecture-level city; the last two digits the delivery post office.

Hong Kong and Macau have no postal codes. The Republic of China (Taiwan) has a separate set of postal codes.


Cyprus postcodes are numeric, consisting of four digits.

Czech Republic

These system of postal codes (PSČ, stands for Czech: Poštovní směrovací číslo). The postal code consists of five digits, usually written in the form XXX XX, with a space). Originally the first digit indicated a region: regional divisions have changed, but the codes have not. Thus the capital of the Czech Republic, Prague, is assigned codes starting with 1.

When writing the address, the postal code is put in front of the town name, e.g.:

Na Příkopě 28
115 03 Praha 1

On envelopes and postcards there are usually five rectangular boxes below the address field for the postal code digits.


Danish postal codes have four digits, except for five special purpose 3-digit codes. The self-governed territories of Greenland and the Faroe Islands have 4- and 3-digit codes, respectively.

New regulations add the country code DK to the postal codes, but in practice it is most often omitted.

The code is written before the city name.

1000 København C (Copenhagen City)
6100 Haderslev
DK-9000 Aalborg

The postal codes follow a geographic pattern and most Danes can tell which region an address belongs to based on the postal code alone.


Since 1971 Finland has used five-digit numeric postal codes. The first two digits designate the municipality or group of municipalities, the next two digits the district or village. The last digit is usually 0 in street addresses, except in some small communities where it may be 5; codes ending in 1 are for post office boxes. Corporations receiving large amounts of mail may have an own postal code. The special postal code 99999 is for Korvatunturi, the place where Santa Claus (or Joulupukki in Finnish) is said to live.


France uses five-digit numeric postal codes, the first two digits normally representing the Département. The last three digits identify a more precise location, 000 being in general reserved for the préfecture. However, in Paris, Lyon and Marseille, the last two digits indicate the arrondissement. For example, 80000 corresponds to Amiens which is the préfecture of the Somme or département 80, while 69008 corresponds to the 8th arrondissement of Lyon.


German postal codes are numeric, consisting of five digits. Between 1990 and 1993 the old four-digit codes in the former West Germany were prefixed with the letter "W", and in the former East with "O" (for "Ost", east in German).


All postal codes in Greece are numeric consisting of five digits. Until 1983 local three-digit systems existed in Athens and other cities.


Hungarian postal codes are numeric, consisting of four digits. The first digit is for the postal region, as listed below (with the postal centre indicated after the number):
  • 1000 Budapest (*)
  • 2000 Szentendre
  • 3000 Hatvan
  • 4000 Debrecen (*)
  • 5000 Szolnok
  • 6000 Kecskemét
  • 7000 Sárbogárd
  • 8000 Székesfehérvár
  • 9000 Győr
Not all of the above are county capitals: Hatvan, Sárbogárd and Szentendre are major cities, but not county capitals. They are, however, all well communicated cities and big junctions.

In Budapest postal codes are in the format 1XYZ, where X and Y are the two digits of the district number (from 01 to 23) and the last digit is the identification number of the post office in the district (there are more than one in each district). A special system exists for PO Box deliveries, which do not follow the district system. These special postal codes refer to a specific post office rather than an area. Ironically, the "1000" postal code designates the Countrywide Logistics Centre, which is currently located outside the 1000 region, in Budaörs, which is in the 2000 region.

The rest of the country is structured as follows:
  • County capitals are always designated a postcode ending with "00". However, some cities have postal codes ending on "00" without being a county capital.
  • Cities generally have postcodes ending with "0".
  • Smaller towns and villages have any other number.
Bigger cities were formerly divided into districts, which often lives on in postcodes. This can be confusing, as 3000 designates Hatvan, but 3001 doesn't designate District 1, but it is actually a PO Box postal code.


Main article: Postal Index Number

India's postal codes are numeric with six digits, such as Kamboi 384230. They are known as Postal Index Numbers or PIN.


Indonesian post codes are numeric and consist of five numbers. The first three digits indicate the cities or regencies.
The postal code is usually written after the city name, e.g.
Kantor Pos Bandung Sukaluyu
Jl. Batik Kumeli No.478

The Indonesian postal codes can be obtained from PT. Pos Indonesia site


Aside from the Dublin postal districts, Ireland does not have a national post code system. While the national postal service, An Post, has stated that the addressing system and sorting technologies preclude the need for postcodes for mail delivery, it has been suggested that other services (such as Ambulances) would benefit from a national system. In 2005, the Minister for Communications announced that postcodes would be introduced by 2008[1], but the project has since been shelved pending additional consultation and investigation into the need[2].


Israeli post codes (Hebrew מיקוד Mikud) are numeric and consist of five digits. They are assigned from north to south, thus, Metula in the north has 10292 as its postal code, and Eilat in the south was assigned 88xxx. The capital city of Jerusalem postal codes start with the digit 9, though this doesn't correspond with its geographical location. Army units postal codes start with a 0 and are not changed even if a unit is roaming. The postal code is written on the right hand side of the location's name, regardless of which language the address is written in. Thus, Location 00000 both in English (location precedes the postal code) as well as in Hebrew (where it follows it).


Italian post codes are numeric, consisting of five digits, such as 20121 Milan. Created in 1967, they are commonly known as CAP (Codice di Avviamento Postale, i.e.: Postal Sending Code). The first two digits denote the administrative province (two provinces when a new province was created after 1967); the third digit shows if the town is the chief-town of the province (odd number, usually 1 or 9, e.g. 07100 Sassari) or not (even, usually 0 or 8, e.g. 10015 Ivrea); the last two digits the specific town or village or the delivery post office (only in new provinces created after 1992). In main cities like Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice the last digits designate the urban postal district (usually 00 or 70 in minor provincial chief-towns).


Japanese post codes are numeric, consisting of seven digits, such as 102-8166 Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo.



All Malaysian postal codes are numeric, consisting of five digits. The first two digits of the postal code denote the state or special administrative area (e.g. 42000 Port Klang, Selangor).


All postal codes in Mexico are numeric consisting of five digits.


Moldova's postal codes are alphanumeric, consisting of the letters MD followed by a dash followed by four digits, e.g. Chişinău MD-2001.

The first digit refers to a designated postal zone, the rest designate smaller administrative units or districts and streets within the municipal area.

See also Official site of Poşta Moldovei



Postal codes in Morocco consist of five digits, which indicate the wider area (first two digits), and the postal district (last three digits).

The present system was introduced on January 1, 1997.


Postal codes in the Netherlands are alphanumeric, consisting of four digits followed by two letters. Adding the house number to the postcode will identify the address, making the street name and town name redundant. For example: 2597 GV 75 will direct a postal delivery to the International School of The Hague.

New Zealand

From 1977 to June 2006, New Zealand had a post code system of four-digit codes only for mail sent in bulk. A new system was then introduced for all mail. It has 1800 four-digit codes with a much finer granularity than the old codes, with each suburb and PostShop lobby having its own postal code. The first two digits specify the area, the third digit specifies the type of delivery (street, PO Box, Private Bag, or Rural delivery), and the last digit specifies the specific lobby, RD number, or suburb.


Since 18 March 1968 Norway has used a four-digit system: postnummersystemet. The numbers start at 00 and increase with the distance from the capital city Oslo. The highest post numbers are found in the county of Finnmark, near the Russian border, where they start with 99. The lowest post code in use is 0001 (0slo), the highest 9991 (Båtsfjord).


The term "ZIP code" is used by the Philippine Postal Corporation for postal codes. Unlike American ZIP codes, the Philippines' ZIP codes are four-digit numbers without any extensions. While the cities of Metro Manila use more than one code, towns and cities outside Metro Manila are assigned only one code per town or city. See the list of ZIP Codes in the Philippines.


In Poland postal codes consist of 2 digits, hyphen and then three digits. For example 50-538.


The Portuguese postal code (código postal) is formed by four digits, a hyphen, then three digits, followed by a postal location of up to 25 characters in capitals. This location is the name of the town, sometimes followed by a three-letter abbreviation of the municipality, e.g. 4455-111 PARADELA VNB

Postal codes are given at the building block level and also to designated addresses with high volumes of mail.

The first digit designates one of nine postal regions; the following two digits designate postal distribution centers; the fourth digit is 0 if it belongs to a capital of municipality, 5 if not, or any other digit if it is a designated address; the last three digits sort building blocks and designated addresses. The more important the city, the more rounded is the number formed by the first four digits.

Postal Regions of Portugal: 1000 pink; 2000 red; 3000 yellow; 4000 green; 5000 blue; 6000 brown; 7000 purple; 8000 black; 9000 (islands: not shown)
Prior to 1976, only Lisbon had used a system, of six zones (Lisboa 1 to Lisboa 6). In 1976, a national postal code system was introduced, with a four-digit structure, and designated addresses added "CODEX" (abbreviation of código extraordinário) to the postal location (example: 2001 SANTARÉM CODEX). In 1994, three extra digits were introduced and the "codex" expression was dropped.

Postal regions (first digit of postal code):
1 (pink) - City of Lisbon
2 (red) - Lisbon District except City of Lisbon, Santarém District, part of Leiria and Setúbal Districts
3 (yellow) - Viseu, Coimbra and Aveiro Districts, part of Leiria District
4 (green) - Viana do Castelo, Braga and Oporto Districts
5 (blue) - Vila Real and Bragança Districts
6 (brown) - Castelo Branco and Guarda Districts, part of Portalegre District
7 (violet) - Beja and Évora Districts, part of Portalegre and Setúbal Districts
8 (black) - Faro District (=Algarve)
9 (not in map) - Madeira Islands and Azores

Source: [2]
To search for portuguese postal codes: Código Postal de Portugal


On 1 May 2003 four-digit postal codes (one for each city) where replaced by six-digit codes. The digits represent (from left to right) the postal area; the county; the city/commune; the last three, depending on the size of the city/commune, represent the commune/city, the street, or the house/building.



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Russian postcodes: Upper image: The place to be filled with six digits of postal code, at the bottom left corner of the envelope. Bottom image: sample digits, printed on the back of the envelope.

Post codes in Russia are six digits long. To assist in their machine reading, envelopes are printed with a nine-segment outline for each digit, which the sender fills in.


Serbian postal codes consist of five digits. The first two digits roughly correspond to the corresponding district; district seat cities usually have 000 as the last three digits, while smaller towns and villages have non-round last three digits.

According to [3] since 1 Jan 2005 a six-digit postcode format has been introduced.


Main article: List of postal codes in Singapore
Singaporean postal codes consist of six digits. The first three digits roughly correspond to a street or a small district. Generally, the postal code should be sufficient to identify a building or a condominium.


These system of postal codes (PSČ, stands for Slovak: Poštovné smerové číslo). The postal code consists of five digits, usually written in the form XXX XX, with a space). Originally the first digit indicated a region: regional divisions have changed, but the codes have not. Thus the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, is assigned codes starting with 8.

When writing the address, the postal code is put in front of the town name. On envelopes and postcards there are usually five rectangular boxes below the address field for the postal code digits.

South Africa

South African postal codes are numeric, consisting of four digits. For a list of postal codes or to search by Location or Post Code see South African Post Office.

South Korea

South Korean postal codes consist of six digits with a dash after the first three digits. The first three digits before dash are region codes, and rest three after dash is minor delivery codes. Short orange bars under the postal codes are also postal codes, used mainly for registered mail. For searching postal codes, use epost on-line postal code service.


Spanish postal codes are numeric, consisting of five digits. The first two digits (ranging 01–52) of the postal code correspond to one of the fifty provinces of Spain (as listed in general alphabetical order, with some exceptions), plus the two autonomous cities on the African coast.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan postal codes are numeric, consisting of five digits. There are postal codes for every post office and sub-post office. Search for the postal codes here.


Since 12 May 1968 Sweden has used five-digit numeric post codes sorted by geographical location. Numbers starting with 10-19 are part of Stockholm; otherwise, the lower numbers are part of the bigger city areas in the south, and increase northwards.

When writing a Swedish address the first line is for the name of the person, second is for the name of the street and number of the building (if it's in a city) or the name and/or number of the house (if it's in the country) and third line is for the postal code followed by the name of the city (or even a small village).

A typical address would look like this:

Name Lastname

Streetname 1a

123 45 City

First digit Region Cities with their own second digit
1Parts of Stockholm CountyStockholm (10–11 and some smaller isolated ranges)
2Skåne County and parts of Kronoberg County and Blekinge CountyMalmö (20–21), Lund (22), Helsingborg (25)
3Parts of Jönköping County, Kronoberg County, Kalmar County, Blekinge County and Halland CountyHalmstad (30), Växjö (35), Kalmar (39)
4Parts of Västra Götaland County and Halland CountyGothenburg (40–41)
5Parts of Östergötland County, Jönköping County, Kalmar County and Västra Götaland CountyBorås (50), Jönköping (55), Linköping (58)
6Södermanland County, Gotland County, Värmland County and parts of Östergötland County, Västra Götaland County and Örebro CountyNorrköping (60), Eskilstuna (63), Karlstad (65)
7Uppsala County, Västmanland County, Dalarna County and parts of Stockholm County and Örebro CountyÖrebro (70), Västerås (72), Uppsala (75)
8Gävleborg County, Västernorrland County and Jämtland CountyGävle (80), Sundsvall (85)
9Västerbotten County and Norrbotten CountyUmeå (90), Luleå (97)


Switzerland uses four-digit numeric post codes, sorted by geographical location (from west to east, following railways and post car routes).


The Republic of China uses postal codes of three + two digits. There are 368 sets of three-digit codes for rural townships, urban townships, county-controlled cities, districts (Hsinchu City and Chiayi City have districts coded 300 and 600 respectively without three-digit subdivisions), Pratas Islands, Spratly Islands, and Diaoyutai Islands (claimed by the ROC, administered by Japan as Senkaku Islands). Omitting the supplementary two digits is ordinarily acceptable, but a five-digit code will speed up the mail.

The first digit is for a large postal zone, as follows:


Turkey postcodes have five digits. The first two digits are the province code in (also first two digits of car licence codes), e.g. postcodes of areas in Istanbul begins with 34. The last three digits represent the area in the province.

United Kingdom

Main article: UK postcodes

UK postcodes are alphanumeric and between five and eight characters long (including a single space separating the outward and inward parts of the code), e.g. the code for the House of Commons is SW1A 0AA. These codes were introduced by the Royal Mail between 1959 and 1974. They have been widely adopted not just for their original purpose of automating the sorting of mail, but for many other purposes — see Postcode lottery.

The 'Outward' part of the postcode denotes the postal district - for example RH for the Redhill area, and then the following number distinguishes the Posttown - broadly speaking the Delivery Office which services the local area. So RH1 is Redhill itself, RH10 is Crawley. With larger towns there may be more than 1 number in the outward section - Crawley includes RH10 and RH11. The 'Inward' part denotes particular parts of the town / Delivery Office area, with the first part - the number - being an area, and the final two letters denoting a group of houses within that area.

You may see a series of five-digit codes on business mail. This is called Mailsort— but is only available for mailings of 'a minimum of 4,000 letter-sized items'.[3] Mail users who handover mail to Royal Mail sorted by Mailsort code receive discounts based on the type of mail and level of sorting they do.

United States

Main article: ZIP Code

The United States uses five-digit numeric "ZIP codes". Since 1983 the US Postal Service has promoted an extended version called "ZIP+4", which adds a hyphen and four additional digits following the main ZIP code, to identify a smaller geographical area or single large entity.


External links

ZIP code is the system of postal codes used by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The letters ZIP, an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan,[1]
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digit is a symbol (a number symbol, e.g. "3" or "7") used in numerals (combinations of symbols, e.g. "37"), to represent numbers, (integers or real numbers) in positional numeral systems.
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An address is a code and abstract concept expressing the fixed location of a home, business or other building on the earth's surface.


Addresses have several functions:

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Mail is part of a postal system wherein written documents, typically enclosed in envelopes, and also small packages, are delivered to destinations around the world. Anything sent through the postal system is called mail or post.
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"Das Lied der Deutschen" (third stanza)
also called "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
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"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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"In God We Trust"   (since 1956)
"E Pluribus Unum"   ("From Many, One"; Latin, traditional)
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Union postale universelle

Universal Postal Union emblem

The UPU headquarters are located in Switzerland

Formation October 9 1874
Headquarters Berne, Switzerland
Membership United Nations
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Amhrán na bhFiann  
The Soldier's Song

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March of the Volunteers[1]

Capital None[2]
Largest district (population) Sha Tin District
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Himno Istmeño

(and largest city) Panama City

Official languages Spanish
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Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc
"Independence - Freedom - Happiness"
Tiến Quân Ca
"Army March" (first verse)
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Postal codes were introduced in France in 1972, when La Poste introduced automated sorting.


The postal code (French: code postal) consists of five digits, the first two digits being the number of the
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Country codes are short alphabetic or numeric geographical codes (geocodes) developed to represent countries and dependent areas, for use in data processing and communications. Several different systems have been developed to do this. The most famous of these is ISO 3166-1.
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This is a list of vehicle country identification codes:

: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Code Country From Before Notes
A Austria 1910
AFG Afghanistan 1971
AG Antigua and Barbuda
AL Albania 1934
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ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes in the ISO 3166-1 standard to represent countries and dependent territories. They are published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as part of its ISO 3166 standard.
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"Virtus Unita Fortior"   (Latin)
"Strength United is Stronger"
El Gran Carlemany, Mon Pare
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En unión y libertad   (Spanish)
"In Union and Freedom"
Himno Nacional Argentino
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"Quo Fata Ferunt"   (Latin)
"Whither the Fates Carry [Us]"
God Save the Queen (official)
Hail to Bermuda (unofficial)
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"Always in service with God's guidance"   (translation)
Allah Peliharakan Sultan
God Bless the Sultan
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This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
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"Out of many, one people"
"Jamaica, Land We Love"
Royal anthem
"God Save the Queen"

(and largest city) Kingston

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L-Innu Malti
("The Maltese Anthem")

Location of  

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This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. A how-to guide is available, as is general .
This article has been tagged since August 2007.
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"Je maintiendrai"   (French)
"Ik zal handhaven"   (Dutch)
"I shall stand fast"1

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"Dieu et mon droit" [2]   (French)
"God and my right"
"God Save the Queen" [3]
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Gloria al Bravo Pueblo   (Spanish)
"Glory to the Brave People"
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The London postal district is the area in England, currently of 241 square miles,[1] to which mail addressed to the LONDON post town is delivered. The area was initially devised in 1856[2]
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Amhrán na bhFiann  
The Soldier's Song

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Dublin postal districts are used by Ireland's postal service, known as An Post, to sort mail in the Dublin area. The system is similar to that used in cities in other European countries until they adopted national postal code systems in the 1960s and '70s.
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