World Stamps

By Denise McCarty

United Nations Flag series continues with four stamps March 27

March 14, 2014 10:54 AM

  • The United Nations Postal Administration will issue four se-tenant stamps March 27 displaying the flags of Afghanistan, Serbia, Cambodia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The United Nations Postal Administration will extend its Flag series with four stamps to be issued March 27. The stamps show the flags of Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Serbia.

All four stamps are denominated $1.15 to pay the international rate for letters mailed from the post office at U.N. Headquarters in New York City.

Like the previous stamps in this U.N. Flag series, the designs are se-tenant (side-by-side).

According to UNPA, this is the first time that the flags of Serbia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have appeared on stamps in the Flag series.

UNPA added that the flags of Afghanistan and Cambodia have changed significantly since their previous appearances on Flag stamps issued in 1987 (United Nations/New York Scott 513) and 1989 (563), respectively.

Also, when Cambodia’s flag was featured on a 25¢ stamp in 1989, that country was called Kampuchea.

Afghanistan has changed its flag many times in the 20th century. The current flag, adopted in 2002, features three equal-size vertical stripes of black, red and green with Afghanistan’s coat of arms in the center. The coat of arms shows a mosque, two flags and sheaves of wheat.

Like the flag of Afghanistan, the flag of Cambodia depicts a religious building, Angkor Wat, in its center. The temple complex is shown on a horizontal red stripe with blue stripes above and below it.

This flag originated in 1948 and was used until 1970. When the country became a constitutional monarchy in 1993, the 1948 flag was readopted.

Serbia’s tricolor flag is red, blue and white with the coat of arms featuring a crown and a double-headed eagle in the center.

This basic flag design dates back to the 19th century, but the latest version was adopted Nov. 11, 2010.

Serbia was admitted to the United Nations Nov. 1, 2000, under the name the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2003, the country’s name was changed to Serbia and Montenegro, and in a letter dated June 3, 2006, the president of the Republic of Serbia informed the U.N. secretary-general “that the membership of Serbia and Montenegro was being continued by the Republic of Serbia, following Montenegro’s declaration of independence.”

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was admitted to the United Nations Sept. 20, 1960. The country’s name was changed to Zaire in 1971, and the flag of Zaire was pictured on a 25¢ U.N. Flag series stamp issued in 1988 (Scott 537).

After the First Congo War of 1996-97, the country’s name reverted to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The flag shown on the new $1.15 stamp was adopted Feb. 20, 2006.

This flag features a five-pointed yellow star and a red stripe on a sky blue field.

Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed the stamps.

Lowe-Martin of Canada printed them by offset in a quantity of 400,000 each. The stamps are in panes of 16, with four se-tenant blocks of four. The center block includes all four stamps.

Each stamp measures 40 millimeters by 29mm and is perforated gauge 13.3.

The UNPA reports that a collection folder will contain one mint single of each of the 2014 Flag series stamps. These stamps will not be included in the annual collection folders.

UNPA introduced the Flag series Sept. 26, 1980, and one set of four stamps was issued each year through 1989. Additional sets of stamps were issued Feb. 12, 1997; Feb. 13, 1998; Feb. 5, 1999; May 21, 2001; Feb. 2, 2007; and May 2, 2013.

For ordering information, visit the website http://unstamps.un.org, or contact the UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900; telephone 800-234-8672; fax 212-963-9854; or e-mail unpanyinquiries@un.org.