Published Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Double gold medallist Smyth tweeted the Royal Mail over the weekend. (© Getty)
The visually impaired athlete, who raced his way to 100m and 200m gold at the London Games, tweeted over the weekend to ask if his hometown deserved the honour.
Smyth ran for Team Ireland but pointed out he lives in and is from Northern Ireland.
However, in its response, the Royal Mail explained that the gold post boxes are only for athletes who represented Team GB at the Olympics or Paralympics.
"Royal Mail announced in June that it was to mark the achievements of Team GB and Paralympics GB by issuing a gold medal stamp for every gold medal winner and painting a post box gold in their home town," said Barbara Roulston.
"We were clear that this tribute was for athletes representing Team GB.
"Royal Mail understands that the way sport is organised in Northern Ireland means that some competitors will represent Ireland rather than the UK, but that this is matter for individuals not for Royal Mail.
"Nonetheless, we offer our sincere congratulations to Jason, Michael and Bethany for their respective gold medal successes."
After lifting his second medal, Smyth said he would have been happy to represent either team as he is "not politically Irish or politically British".
He said: "I could have gone for Britain just as easy as I went for Ireland, but at the time both people were given the opportunity and the Sports council in Ireland came on and wanted to support and help me and did whatever they could, whereas whoever was in charge of GB at the time was like 'whatever, whatever'."
Pat Ramsey of the SDLP said he is "seeing red" over the issue.
"As Northern residents, they have to use the Royal Mail, whether it be for submitting funding applications or receiving messages of congratulation, so Royal Mail, regardless of narrow definitions of national identity, should recognise the achievements of its supposedly valued customers by painting a postbox in Eglinton gold," said the MLA.
"I will continue to press for a reversal of this ludicrous and disrespectful decision."
Northern Ireland athletes picked up six medals at the Paralympics.
Glengormley runner Michael McKillop claimed gold in the T37 1500m and 800m - and picked up the special Whang, Youn Dai Achievement Award for embodying the spirit of the Games - while Seaforde's Bethany Firth won the 100m backstroke S14 and Portaferry cyclist James Brown took bronze in the tandem road time trial.
It came after a successful Olympics saw silver for rowers Peter and Richard Chambers, and bronze for sculler Alan Campbell and boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan.