The Philippines was a stamp issuing territory of the United States from 1898, the end of the Spanish-American war, until 1946 when the Philippines achieved independence. The earliest issues were overprinted U.S. stamps. The first unique designs appeared in 1906, picturing various Philippine and American personages. The 2-cent stamp depicts Jose Rizal. Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines. A true polymath, he excelled in the arts, letters, linguistics, architecture and many other fields. His extreme nationalism led to his arrest, trial and execution just two years before the Philippines was liberated from Spanish rule.