Robert Murray Stamp Shop, Edinburgh
Established 1977
Retail shop, auctioneers, mail order

The Philatelic Vexillology Society
For collectors worldwide of Flags on Stamps.

Membership is open to any interested collectors. In its current set-up (i.e. as at the moment of founding, only the founder member is a member !) there is no intention of the Society being in any way formal.
Qualification for membership is as follows;
    1. Each member must be fluent in saying or thinking "The Philatelic Vexillology Society".
    2. Each member must think of themselves as being a collector of stamps (or postmarks, covers, etc.) showing flags.
    3. Each member shall pay a joining fee (just to make up for the small amount of work done by the Founder) which shall be any item of potential interest - to be sent to the Founder at the address below (not too valuable or you'll make me feel guilty - not to common or I'll think you're being cheeky - something worth about a pound is ok !). Something odd like a postmark or an interesting cover would be just fine. If you put in a postcard-plus size stamped addressed envelope, I'll send you back a "Fly your Flag for Scotland" postcard I published back in 1992.
    4. Each member must be willing to write, at least once a year, an item of interest for our internet newsletter - The Flier.
    5. Until such time as there are ten members worldwide, all members shall accept Robert Murray's decisions as to the running of the P.V.S. (Once there are ten members, we will have some form of decision as to future organisation.) These rules will almost certainly change in the future.
    6. All members will accept that the internet will be the means of communication - written letters may or may not be dealt with. Members accept that any emails and attachments they submit may be published here (unless they are specifically marked "confidential" or "not for publication"). Members' names and email addresses will be public (unless they are requested, with good reason, to be kept confidential).

Newsletter - The Flier (Appears only on the internet). Issue 1 - end of 1999
Subscription to the newsletter is free, but each member has to contribute something from time to time (at least once per year).
Founder - Robert Murray, 
5 Inverleith Gardens, 
Edinburgh, EH3 5PU, 
please send me an email to;
[email protected]

Some useful flag links.
Yahoo Flags on Stamps Group - visit and sign up !
Flags of the World - a super site - if you want information about flags in general, try it !
World Flag Database - lots of information and graphics, well worth a visit.
(I'll put a few few more in here soon - there are some very good ones. Just use any search engine and lots of choice comes up.)

Link to my own web site (Stamp Dealer/Auctioneer)

General little article about flag stamp collecting.
Article about the story of the Scottish Saltire Flag.

This image has only been used because I also have interests in Scandinavian philately (specifically Denmark and Colonies).
View List of Members.
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 ?

Page last updated Thursday 4 January 2001, minimal update 15 December 2005, with further updates (general redesign, actually) promised !

The publication here of members' email addresses is intended for genuine, fraternal/collecting contact only. We ask you please not to use the list for unsolicited advertising. If you do want to advertise something to these people, please contact the current society organiser for permission.

(Surname, First Name)
Location . Collecting  Interests
within Flags
E-Mail address Personal or
Business Website
1 Murray, Robert ("Bob") Edinburgh, Scotland General [email protected]
2 Peralta, Jose Philippines Symbolism/significance, etc. [email protected] .
3 Shereshevsky, Nahum Jerusalem, Israel Heraldic [email protected]
4 Smith, Robert South Africa . <[email protected]> .
5 Gardner, Hank Viginia Beach, USA General [email protected]
6 Fink, Dr. Marc J. Chesapeake,
General [email protected] .
7 Midura, Edmund Sparks, MD,
General [email protected]
8 Frost, Murray Omaha, NE,
General [email protected] .
9 Carson, James Glasgow, Scotland General [email protected] .
10 Sloss, Tom Mississauga, Canada General [email protected]
11 Zhang Xun Beijing, China National Flags [email protected] .
12 Blanc, Jean-Francois France General [email protected] "flags on Congo stamps"
13 Koh, Tom Western Australia General,  especially 
sub-national flags
[email protected] .
14 Carol, Dr. Steve Scottsdale, Arizona, USA General [email protected] .
15 Sisa, Melih Istanbul, Turkey General ("ex-diectory") .
16 Wu, Tony Taiwan General, especially national flags [email protected] .
17 Johansson, Eric Trollhaettan, Sweden General [email protected] .
18 Jones, Morgan Adelaide,
South Australia
General and National Badges [email protected] .
19 Molina, Joan F. Barcelona, 
Flags from regions and nations that
are not independent.
[email protected] .
20 Stopka, John Montrose PA, USA General [email protected] .
21 van de Loo, André R.  Wânswert, Fryslân, 
The Netherlands
(coming !)
Historical/political [email protected] .
22 de Bruyni, Peter Dublin, Ireland
(though Dutch)
Eire/NL National flags - significance of colours and emblems etc. [email protected] .
23 Rao, K. Sanjeeva Khammam, India India General [email protected] .
24 Hunt, Robert South Carolina, USA General

A Flag for The Philatelic Vexillology Society ?  At the top of the page is a suggestion, but entirely subject to better ideas being put forward, for a flag for the society. The yellow and blue are simply the colours of the two main Scottish flags. The white is stamp paper, and the black circles represent perforations. Comments welcome. Even more welcome would be other suggestions.

The Saltire Flag of Scotland. The flag (shown above) represents the Cross of Saint Andrew against a blue background. Saint Andrew was Christ’s first missionary, and when condemned to death by the Romans in 60AD, chose this form of cross (the story goes) as he saw himself as being unworthy of a cross of the same type as that on which Jesus had been crucified.
In the 8th Century, Saint Rule (Saint Regulus) experienced a vision in which he was told to take certain of Saint Andrew’s bones to the most westerly part of the known world. (Fife !). He came ashore with the relics at a place called Kilrymont, which through its saintly associations became known as Saint Andrew’s.
Some years later, in 832AD an army of Pictish soldiers, led by Angus mac Feargus (High King of Alba), along with some Scots under Eochaidh (King of Dalriada), were in East Lothian surrounded by a superior (or so they thought) army of Angles, with the Nurthumbrian warrior Athelstan at their head. King Angus, seeing their predicament, thought prayer worthwhile. Apparently as a result of this, white clouds in the blue sky above them formed the shape of the saltire. Angus promised that if they won the day with Saint Andrew’s help, he would be adopted as Scotland’s patron saint. The Picts and Scots were victorious, and from that day, the Saltire became the flag of Scotland (and possibly the oldest in use in Europe and the Commonwealth).
On 8 June 1999, the U.K. Post Office issued four new stamps for Scotland, the "2nd class" (19p) one of which showed the Saltire.
Robert Murray, 30 August 1999
Collecting Flags on Stamps. I have only in any way seriously been a philatelic vexillologist for some months, possibly gathering material for two or three years before that. I have always liked flags, and I have always liked stamps (I'm also a "retired" scout leader, and am a full-time stamp dealer by trade, so I have the background). Of late I have been thinking more seriously about the direction my collection will take, and have just committed myself to giving a display on the subject next year, so I have to do something.
One of the odd things I noticed while gathering odd stamps from around the world is that while flags are such obvious and potent symbols of national identity, they were seldom used on stamps until multicolour printing processes became more commonplace. It is also encouraging to note that none of the countries which overproduce stamps have gone in for a "Flags of the World" set - they presumably have not thought that there would be a big enough sale for them. The United Nations, as far as I know, are the only folk to produce such an issue, and I suppose they are allowed to.
Various approaches have crossed my mind as I grew into this subject; {a} making a straight A to Z collection country by country, showing any changes that have occurred, as well as any other stamps that tie in with the background to the flag's design or history, {b} collecting flags on stamps by type, so that countries who took their inspiration from the French Tricolour for example (or using the pattern of the Stars and Stripes, or that have the Union Flag as their "parent" flag) would be grouped together, showing any similarities, {c} taking one country or area, and covering all of its flags in depth (national flags, royal/presidential standards, organisations, military banners, and so on), or {d} just doing what you like !
I think I have decided that, for my display next year I will take the {c} approach for Scandinavia, plus picking a range of world flags that I find interesting or that have good stories behing them. I also fancy I will do something about ceremonial/traditional use of flags (treaty signings, half-mast, funerals, etc.), and something to show the use of flags in other places (e.g. UK flag at the South Pole, US flag on the moon, occupations of other countries, and so on).
I would intend that, as I progress with my own collection, I will post on this site some of my write-ups.
If you join me in this fine Society, how about some of your own thoughts for publication here ?
Robert Murray, 31 August 1999
flags on stamps to MiniFlags linkI happily acknowledge the use of images from the "Mooney's MiniFlags" website throughout this site.  st 
The facility is here for members to post images of stamps on which they would like some help in identifying the flags shown. Hopefully other members can then email their own identifications, and the answers will be shown here also.
QUERY 1. The Czech republic issued this stamp on 28 October 1998 for the 80th Anniversary of the founding of the Czechoslovak Republic. The design information I have is just "motif from a poster and a postcard by Vojtech Preissig". What are the flags ?
(From Robert Murray)
ANSWER (and a super one it is too) from Graham Knight; "re. your enquiry on the Phil. Vex. Soc. website about the flags featured on the Czech stamp, the stamp depicts a World War 1 recruiting poster used in the USA and it shows various contemporary Czech and Slovak flags, The red flag with the rampant lion is a banner of the Bohemian coat of arms. Behind are 2 examples of the Resistance flag (five horizontal stripes-red,white,blue,white,red, the blue being of double width). This flag was designed by V Preissig for Milan Stefanik, a Slovak Nationalist member of the National Council which the Allies had recognised as the Czechoslovak government in exile. The flag was identified with the National Council but was not adopted as the national flag when the National Committee declared the independence of Czechoslovakia on 28 October 1918 in Prague. The other flags not shown in full include, at furthest right, a Slovak flag depicting the Slovak arms, a double cross in white. These arms were taken from those of Matica Slovensk, a Slovak patriotic society, which had taken them from "Hungary Modern", the dexter part of the arms of Hungary. One of the flags furthest to the rear shows a black eagle's wing-part of a banner of the arms of Silesia which depict an eagle (Silesia formed the Czech lands along with Bohemia and Moravia.) In front of it is a banner of the Moravian arms-a red and white chequered eagle on a blue field. I cannot identify the flags placed behind these flags. I hope this information is of help.
Congratulations on establishing a interesting website. from Graham Knight.
Address:[email protected]"
SUPPLEMENTARY ANSWER from Jean-Francois Blanc,  "Some additional info about the Czech stamp of 1998 (I'm collecting Czech and Slovak stamps as my grandmother was Czech and as I've studied the Czech language in which I'm quite fluent). The flags, apart that of the National Council, are BOAs of 4 components of Czechoslovakia: Bohemia (white lion on red), Moravia (white and red checquered eagle on blue), Silesia (Back eagle on yellow) and Slovakia (white cross on a mountain on a red over blue field)"
Thanks to you both !
QUERY 2. A stamp from the UK in 1992, entitled just "Standard Bearer" in the Civil War series. Does anyone recognise the standard ?  (We had one suggestion, but I don't think the responent had picked up on the fact the most of the flag is plain brown - it maybe doesn't show too well on all browsers.)
(From Robert Murray)
ANSWER, again from Graham Knight; "Although the field of this flag appears to be brown, I think it should be orange and that artistic licence has made it appear darker in hue than it actually should be. If I am correct then the depicted flag is the ensign of a Sergeant Major in the Orange Auxiliaries of the City of London. This must be the case because the  sergeant major's rank in that regiment had  an ensign which was distinguished by  a "stream blazant", tretching from the canton as in the depicted design rather than a single diamond which was used in other regiments. I  obtained this information in "Soldiers of The English Civil War 1 Infantry" by Keith Roberts and Angus McBride , Osprey Publications,1989."
QUERY 3. "Dear Robert, I hear about a flag of Burma 1974 (Socialist Republic of Burma) 15 p. multicolor. Do you know what flags show in this stamp
Many thanks, Jaume Ollé Casals" (Non-member)
Does anyone know what the flags are, or does anyone have a decent colour image of the stamp ?
Please email any answer both to the enquirer, and to this site. Thanks.
ANSWER From our member Murray Frost in the USA; "I can help identify most of the 8 flags pictured on that stamp.  Starting from the right:
1) current flag of Burma, adopted in 1974; 2) flag of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party (I assume the parety in power); 3) the previous Burmese 
flag--the first as an independent nation; 4) flag of the Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League--the resistance movement during the Japanese occupation; 5) 
the flag of the puppet state set up during the Japanese occupation; 6-8) don't know.
I hope this will encourage the questioner to join our little band.
Sincerely, Murray Frost"
If you have a query, get it posted here. Please let me know if you want me to host the image (that uses some of my own available memory space), or give me a URL to the file on your own webspace.