For collectors worldwide of Flags on Stamps.
Number 1 - end of 1999
To all our members - greetings. Thanks to everybody who
has taken an interest, and thanks also for the various email messages.
A couple of members have followed up the suggestion of sending me something
for my troubles .... it's ok, everybody else, I'm not too bothered, and
not at all insulted !
At the time of writing, we have thirteen members worldwide. Our high spot was on Wednesday 27 October, when we got two new sign-ups in the one day. We are slowly gaining links in other websites (either as I ask for them, or as they are added by people who have visited our website). I am sure that in the fullness of time, more and more philatelic vexillologists will find their way to our society.
It naturally always feels that the bigger the numbers, the better the society, and numbers in our case will certainly do no harm. Ours is an interesting development - as far as I know, it is the world's first internet-only philatelic society. To date I have written nothing by way of publicity, notes or messages other than that which has appeared on the website or been sent by email. We are therefore quite different from many societies, where large numbers of members mean extra expense (of meeting places, of postages, of printing); the only difference between sending this newsletter to five people or five hundred is the time spent, and the minimal cost of a longer period on-line sending emails. To date, there are no expenses - I suggest we keep it that way as far as possible !
|Reproduced here are some of the comments from members' email messages;|
|I visited your site following your message to the Flag of the World
ml and I would like to join the Philatelic Vexillology Society. BTW,
is being able to copy and paste the name counts for qualification #1-?....
I'm a serious philatelist, but I don't collect flags - my interest is in heraldry. I have a large collection and an international-level exhibit that
you can see at http://members.xoom.com/naxum/her/pher0.htm
Flags and heraldry are related subjects, and since I found my FOTW membership to be very beneficial, I would like to join the Philatelic
Vexillology Society as well.
From: Nahum Shereshevsky, Israel
|My interest is on stamps, and the significance of each issue.
I have started collecting flags just recently. And became curious on what the country symbol means. Thus, I would like to know more of the flag
details. I thought the more I learn about people in other countries, the more I could understand humanity.
I was in Edinburgh before, summer of 1980. The place is serene, peaceful and conducive to thingking; and the people are very friendly and
accommodating. I hope it has not change much, after these years.
From: Dr. Jose Peralta, Philippines
(The last bit may not be of particular interest to members, but I cannot bring myself to delete such praise for my home city ! RM)
|Flags have interested me for over 45 years so when I started collecting
stamps it was natural for me to collect flags on stamps. I have at
3000 different. It is difficult to say just how many because inventorying them is so complicated. Currently I just keep a list in the standard
want-list/inventory style. I haven't done anything on the computer, but would like to. Perhaps someone out there in cyberspace can recommend the best method/software.
From: Hank Gardner, USA
|I have been collecting national flag stamps for three years and already
have some collections. I now want to hear from somebody who can give me
some advice on how to arrange my collection and of course I can exchange
some stamps with him to enrich my collection.I'm now very interested in
former U.S.S.R and now C.I.S.countries' national flag stamps.It will be
grateful if you can help me on this theme.For your information,I'm also
interested in state flags of a country(I already have U.S.A,
Canada and most of Brazil's).Do you know any other country which have issued
state flags stamps? Your any suggestion or advice will be very helpful
From: Zhang Xun, China
|I am interested in all aspects of vexillology but I am especially keen
on sub-national flags (you know, provinces, counties, states ..).
That is why
I am bugging the authorities here in Australia to put out an issue of the various flags of the Australian States and Territories (you know, similar to
the flag issues of Canada, USA, Brazil) and to tie this issuance especially for the 100th anniversary of Federation (or COmmonwealth, as we refer to the link-up of the States in 1901) which will occur in January 2001. ......... (My wife thinks I am mad - she has not change her opinion in the last 27 years!)
I look forward to hearing from you and await anxiously for confirmation of my membership status.
Yours Philavexly or is it Vexilatelically
From: Tom Koh, Australia
Organisation. Are we all happy with the way things are at present ? Should we change the set-up now, should we wait until we have a few more members, or should we change nothing ? Should we spread jobs around a bit - chairman/boss/president/moderator, membership secretary, newsletter editor, promotion/link searcher, cyber-auctioneer, new issue monitor, listings editor, for example ?
ARTICLES FROM MEMBERS
One of our members, James Carson of Glasgow, Scotland, has sent a fine general flag-stamp-collecting article. He says that he submitted it to Linns Stamp News, but apparently they said it was too "flaggy" and not "stampy" enough. It appears further down the newsletter - click here to go straight to it.
On our web page the following "ideas" section is floated. The Mysteries and Queries section has been very successful - although only three queries have been posted, all have received good replies, and I would suggest that the section has a future. The other ideas (world listings, club auction, and club competition) need our members' comments. Other ideas are of course welcome.
|1. World Listings. Perhaps members would like to take on, country by country, listings of any stamps of that state, correctly identifying and noting any relevant background information. This would then become a useful resource for other collectors.||2. Mysteries and Queries. I know that I have a number of stamps that show flags, but I'm not sure what flags they are (or in fact if they are maybe just "makie uppie" flags in the first place). These could be posted here with images, in the hope that others could recognise them. HELP WANTED !||3. Club Auction. Could we run a sale (once a year ?) (permanently
running ?) of members' surplus material ?
4. Club Competition. Computer-originated pages, viewed by other members, and voted on. Virtual medals for winners ?
"Themescene", the journal of the British Thematic Association, is due
to carry a mention of our new group in their December 1999 edition. I quote
from the editor, Margaret Shaida's, message; "Look out for your letter
in December, and I hope it results in an amazing rise in membership. If
so, (and if not, too) perhaps you should join the British Thematic Association
as a Group Member. We should be absolutely delighted to welcome our
first Cyberspace Group Member.
It's hardly surprising that flags should feature so prominently and
so often on stamps. Easily identifiable, highly symbolic, with
All of which has not been lost on postal administrations around the
world. From Iceland in the North Atlantic to Nauru in the
Fine examples of the inventive use of flag designs include:
Spain and Portugal, 1986: the entry of the
Iberian countries to the European Community is dynamically illustrated
The frequent appearances of flags on stamps is simply a reflection
of their ubiquity in the wider world. On land and at sea, in
flags at half mast to mourn the passing of
King Hussein of Jordan and the Emir of Bahrain
Whether reviled or revered, flags are clearly part of our modern landscape.
But although their application is contemporary, the origins of flags
can be traced back to ancient times. The Roman Empire saw
The close relationship between vexillology and the medieval art of heraldry
can be seen in many modern-day flags. Heraldic
It was the American and French Revolutions which themselves revolutionised
many of the flags we know today. We can't be
The Stars and Stripes motif has been adopted by several American states,
as well as places further afield, such as Chile in South
The French tricolour has been arguably even more influential.
Born in the revolution of 1789, the red, white and blue flag was
Just as historical influences may be identified in flags, shared regional, cultural and religious links can also be detected:
Many Arab countries use the black, white, red
and green colours adopted by young Arabs earlier this century when
Another important "family" of flags belongs to the slavic nations of
eastern Europe. The Russian tricolour of white, red and
Many of the peoples of eastern Europe look to Russia as their cultural
home, and this is reflected in their flags. The pan-slavic
Flags have played centre stage on some of the most spectacular stamp issues of recent times:
* During the 1980s, Brazil issued a series of stamps featuring each
of the state flags of the country's federation
* Canada's provincial flags took pride of place for the 1979 issue marking
the country's national day. The same flags were used
Canada's national flag has also appeared on many definitive and commemorative
issues, notably on its debut in 1965 and for its
Like the Canadians in the 1960s, the Australians in the 1990s have been
debating whether they should have a new national flag.
Change could come as early as this year. In December, Australians
will vote on whether to move closer to becoming a republic.
The Olympic movement, of course, has its own flag. Designed by
the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de
The Olympic symbol has become one of the most universally familiar,
and few postal authorities can resist the opportunity to
There appears to be quite literally no end to the outpouring of flags
on stamps. European Parliament elections, for instance, have
Clearly, there is much to interest collectors who chooses flags as a
philatelic theme. For as well as adding to their stamp
of The Flier, Issue 1
This edition compiled by Robert Murray, Edinburgh, Scotland, Wednesday
29 December 1999
Visit Society Home Page | Email Editor