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Saar (1920-35, 1947-59)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.4 million (1959 estimate). A coal-rich district in western Germany, southeast of Luxembourg. The Saar was occupied by France after World War I and was placed under League of Nations administration, with France controlling the mines as part of the German war reparations. In 1935, a plebiscite resulted in the reunion of the area with Germany. The Saar was occupied by France in 1945 and was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. Saar stamps continued to be used until their final replacement by German issues in 1959.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 700,000 (1979 estimate). A state in northeastern Borneo. Formerly British North Borneo, the territory assumed the name Sabah in 1963 when it joined with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form the Federation of Malaysia.
St. Christopher (1870-90)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 18,500 (1890 estimate). An island in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. Formerly a presidency of the Leeward Islands, St. Kitts was united with Nevis in 1903 to form the presidency of St. Kitts-Nevis. In 1952, this designation was changed to St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla.
St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla (1952-80)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 52,000 (1996 estimate). An associated state in the British Commonwealth, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla came into being in 1952. Stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis and Leeward Islands continued in concurrent use there until 1956. In 1967, Anguilla separated unilaterally and began issuing its own stamps, although "Anguilla" continued to appear on St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla issues for 13 years thereafter. Nevis and St. Kitts (St. Christopher) parted company in 1980.
St. Helena (1856-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,803 (1997 estimate). An island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 1,100 miles off the west coast of Africa. Under British rule since 1673, St. Helena is noted chiefly as the site of Napoleon's imprisonment 1815-1821. The colony includes the dependencies of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.
St. Kitts (1980-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 35,104 (1980). One of the Leeward Islands, located in the eastern Caribbean, southeast of Puerto Rico. As St. Christopher, St. Kitts used its own issues 1870-90. These were replaced by general Leeward Islands issues 1890-1956, used concurrently with stamps inscribed "St. Kitts-Nevis" 1903-52 and "St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla" 1952-80. St. Kitts is an Associated State in the British Commonwealth, federated with Nevis but maintaining its own stamp issues since 1980.
St. Kitts-Nevis (1903-50)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. Formed in 1903 as a presidency of the British Leeward Islands colony, the designation of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was adopted in 1952. In 1956, this became a separate British colony, securing independence in 1967 as St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. Soon after independence, Anguilla seceded from the union, declaring its independence from both St. Kitts-Nevis and Great Britain.
St. Lucia (1860-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 159,639 (1997 estimate). An island in the West Indies. The island was disputed between France and Britain from 1627-1803, with Britain acquiring control after 1803. On March 1, 1967, St. Lucia became an independent associated state in the British Commonwealth. It became fully independent on Feb. 22, 1979. Funded by foreign aid, St. Lucia is pursuing an ambitious economic development program.
St. Nazaire (1945)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France, at the mouth of the Loire River. In 1945, Allied advances cut St. Nazaire off from the rest of German-occupied France. During this period, the local Chamber of Commerce issued three provisional stamps for local use.
St. Pierre and Miquelon (1885-1976, 1986-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,862 (1997 estimate). Two small islands off the southern coast of Newfoundland. Originally occupied by the French in 1604, they are the only remnants of a once-vast French North American empire. Separate stamps issued for St. Pierre and Miquelon were discontinued in late 1976, but were reintroduced in 1986.
St. Thomas and Prince Islands (1869-1978)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 88,000. Two small islands in the Gulf of Guinea, in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of Africa. Portuguese possessions after 1490, St. Thomas and Prince became the independent Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe on July 12, 1975.
St. Vincent (1861-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 119,092 (1997 estimate). An island in the West Indies. St. Vincent was a British colony from 1763 to 1969. On Oct. 27, 1969, St. Vincent became an independent associated state in the British Commonwealth. It became fully independent on Oct. 27, 1979.
St. Vincent-Grenadines (1973-)
Stamp-issuing status: active. A small group of islands administered by St. Vincent, including Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. A host of expensive topical issues were produced for the Grenadines, Bequia and Union Island during 1984-88, almost exclusively for consumption by stamp collectors.
Ste. Marie de Madagascar (1894-98)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 8,000 (1894 estimate). An island off the east coast of Madagascar. Occupied by the French in the 17th century, it was a French colony until 1898, when it was attached to Madagascar.
Salonica (1909-13, 1944)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A major port in northern Greece, on the Aegean Sea. The Russian post office in Salonica used overprinted Russian Levant stamps after 1909, along with the general issues of the Russian offices in Turkey. The Russian set was quickly followed by a similar series issued by Italy for its post office in Salonica. During 1916, British issues overprinted "Levant" were used by the British forces in Salonica. During the last stages of World War II, Italian stamps were overprinted by the German military commander for use in the city.
Salvador, El (1867-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,661,827 (1993 estimate). A republic in Central America, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador was conquered by the Spanish in the 1520s and was ruled as part of the captaincy-general of Guatemala until 1821. It came under Mexican rule briefly, then formed part of the Central American Confederation until 1839. Since independence, El Salvador's history has been marked by political instability. Coups, countercoups, inequitable land ownership and a long-running civil war between Marxist guerrillas and right-wing elements of the military marked the country's history until recent years. In 1992 the civil war was ended, and an economic liberalization program was implemented in 1993.
Samoa (Western Samoa) (1877-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 219,509 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Fiji. The native kingdom of Samoa was under the influence of the United States, Britain and Germany until 1899 when the islands were partitioned between the United States and Germany with Great Britain withdrawing its claims. The eastern islands were ceded to the United States by the local chiefs from 1900-04. American Samoa has since been administered by the United States, using regular U.S. stamps. Western Samoa was seized from Germany by New Zealand forces in 1914, and New Zealand subsequently administered the western islands under a mandate from the League of Nations (later the United Nations). Western Samoa became independent on Jan. 1, 1962. In 1977 the country's name was changed to Samoa. Ties to New Zealand remain strong.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Aegean Sea. Under Turkish rule since the 15th century, Samos became an autonomous principality in 1832, under British, French and Russian protection. France overprinted and surcharged a set of nine stamps "Vathy" for use in 1894-1900. In September 1912, a provisional government was established, and Turkish troops withdrew. The government issued two stamps. In 1913, Samos was united with Greece.
San Marino (1877-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 24,714 (1997 estimate). A tiny independent republic in central Italy. Surrounded on all sides by Italy, San Marino has maintained its independence since the 4th century A.D. It is the world's smallest republic and claims to be Europe's oldest state. Postage stamps and tourism are the country's major industries.
San Sebastian (1936-37)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the province of Guipuzcoa in northern Spain. Nationalist authorities overprinted a number of Spanish stamps for use in the city during the Spanish Civil War.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1937)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of Spain in the Canary Islands. A set of overprinted Spanish stamps was issued in 1937 by the Nationalist authorities.
Santa Maria de Albarracia (1937)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the province of Teruel in northern Spain. Two overprinted Spanish stamps were issued in 1937 under the authority of the Nationalist Inspector-General of Posts.
Sao Tome and Principe (1975-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 147,865 (1997 estimate). The Portuguese colony of St. Thomas and Prince became the independent Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe on July 12, 1975. It now issues large numbers of topically oriented stamps primarily intended for stamp collectors.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 975,918 (1970). A state on the northwestern coast of Borneo. In 1893, the area was ceded to Sir James Brooke by the sultan of Brunei. Sarawak remained an independent state until 1888, when it accepted British control of its foreign affairs. The Brooke dynasty ruled until 1946, when the last rajah ceded Sarawak to Britain. In 1963, the colony joined with Malaya, Singapore and Sabah (North Borneo) to form the Federation of Malaysia.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former kingdom in northwestern Italy. The Sardinian House of Savoy led the Italian nationalist movement, absorbing most of the many Italian states during 1859-61. In 1861, the Sardinian kingdom became the Kingdom of Italy, which began to issue stamps in 1862.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the western Ukraine. After the German occupation of the city in 1941, six stamps were issued by the German military commander.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small island off the coast of Albania, occupied by Italy in 1914. Eight Italian stamps were overprinted for use there in 1923. Saseno was formally returned to Albania in 1947.
Saudi Arabia (1932-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9.6 million. Nejd, in northern Arabia, was long the center of the fundamentalist Wahabbi Moslem sect. Under Turkish control until 1913, Nejd was freed by Ibn Saud, a warrior king who immediately set about the enlargement of his domain. He conquered the Turkish province of Hasa in 1913, the Kingdom of the Hejaz in 1925, and most of Asir in 1926. In 1932 the kingdom adopted the name Saudi Arabia. Oil was discovered in 1936, and petroleum soon became the country's major export and economic mainstay. Saudi Arabia has played a leading role in OPEC. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the Saud family. Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of Islam, are within the country, and the Koran is the law of the land. Saudi Arabia has been an active force in the Arab movement for a Palestinian state. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, it has given annual subsidies to the Arab frontline states, as well as to the various Palestinian political groups. The Saudis were among the leaders in the 1973-74 oil boycott of the West.
Saurashtra (Soruth) (1864-1949)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 670,719. A former feudatory state, actually named Junagadh, in western India. Its stamps were replaced by those of the United State of Saurashtra in 1949.
Saurashtra, United State of (1949-50)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state formed in 1948 with the merger of over 400 states and territories in western India. Indian stamps have been used in the state since April 1, 1950.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2.5 million (estimate). Former kingdom in central Germany. Saxon issues were replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Greek island of Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The island was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912. At that time, Italian stamps overprinted "Scarpanto," the Italian name for the island, were issued. Scarpanto's issues were superseded by those of the Aegean Islands in 1929, although two sets were overprinted for the island in 1930 and 1932.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An area of the central Jutland Peninsula, in Germany and Denmark. Under German rule from 1864-1918, the province was divided into two districts after World War I. A plebiscite in 1920 resulted in the northern portion voting to join Denmark and the southern district voting for reunion with Germany.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.52 million (estimate). Former duchies in northern Germany, forming the southern portion of the Jutland Peninsula. Under Danish control until 1864, the duchies were seized by Austria and Prussia, who subsequently fought the Austro-Prussian War (1866), after which they were absorbed by Prussia. A plebiscite in 1920 resulted in northern Schleswig being returned to Denmark.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district on the lower Indus River, bordering on the Arabian Sea. Scinde is now part of Pakistan. The Scinde was occupied by Great Britain in 1850 and separate stamps were used until their replacement by the first Indian issue in 1854.
Scutari (1909-11, 1915-20)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in northern Albania. The Italian post office in Scutari used 10 overprinted Italian stamps from 1909-11 and during the World War I Italian occupation. In December 1918, the Italians withdrew and Scutari was placed under an international commission to protect it from Serbia. Until March 1920, various stamps were issued specifically for use in Scutari, after which time the city was placed under Albanian administration.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of north central Spain. Contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted by the National Civil Governor in October and November 1937.
Seiyun, Kathiri State of (1942-67)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former British protectorate in south Arabia. The area was autonomous until its incorporation into the People's Republic of Southern Yemen.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1 million (1960 estimate). Sultanate in the south Malay Peninsula. Selangor was under British protection after 1874 and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6.4 million. A republic on the west coast of Africa. The first French settlement began in 1626, and the area remained under either French or (temporarily) British rule. After 1854, France used Senegal as its base for expansion in West Africa. In 1904 French West Africa was established, with its capital at Dakar, Senegal's capital. French West African stamps were used 1944-59. In 1958, Senegal became an autonomous state within the French Union, and in 1959 it joined with the French Sudan to form the Federation of Mali. Senegal withdrew from the union in 1960, and on June 26, 1960, became independent. It retains close ties with France.
Senegambia and Niger (1903-06)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A French African administrative unit (1902-04) comprising French holdings in the Senegal and Niger area. In 1904, the area was renamed Upper Senegal and Niger, and in 1906, stamps of this new entity were released.
Serbia (1866-1918, 1941-44)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3 million (1920 estimate). A former state in the Balkans, now part of Yugoslavia. Serbia was a powerful kingdom until its conquest by the Turks in 1389. Serbia gained autonomy in 1829 and independence in 1878. Serbia assumed leadership of the movement to unite the southern Slavs in the early 20th century, especially after the defeat of Turkey during the Balkan Wars (1912-13). The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown by a Serbian nationalist in 1914 led to an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, which escalated into World War I. By the end of 1915, Serbia was occupied by German, Austrian and Bulgarian forces, while the Serbian government and army retired to Corfu. Another 42 stamps were overprinted for use during this period. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary in the autumn of 1918, Serbia became the nucleus of the Yugoslav state. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established on Dec. 1, 1918, under the Serbian monarchy. In 1929 the state was renamed Yugoslavia. During 1941-44, Serbia was recreated as a German puppet state. An additional 126 stamps were issued during the war years.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in southern Spain. During the Civil War, a large number of contemporary Spanish Republican stamps were overprinted under the authority of the local Nationalist military commander.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 77,000. A group of 86 islands in the western Indian Ocean. Formerly occupied by France, the Seychelles have been under British rule since 1810. The Seychelles were ruled as part of Mauritius until 1903. During 1903-76, the islands were administered as a separate colony. Although the ruling party preferred to continue the Seychelles' association with Britain, sustained pressure from the Organization of African Unity and United Nations forced it to declare independence on June 29, 1976. In 1977, the government was overthrown in a coup, and a socialist regime came to power. In 1979, opposition political parties were abolished. The Soviet Union actively attempted to establish its influence in the country.
Shan States (1943)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1942-43, the Shan States of eastern Burma were separated from the puppet Burmese government established by the Japanese. In December 1943, the region was reincorporated into Burma, and its stamps were overprinted for use throughout the country.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the major cities and ports of China. Shanghai was opened to European settlement in 1843. In 1864, dissatisfied with the high charges of the Chinese private postal agencies, Shanghai organized a postal system under the Municipal Council. Agencies of the Shanghai Local Post eventually operated in 16 cities within China. In 1898 the service was integrated with those of the Chinese government.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in northern China, west of Peking. Regular Chinese stamps were overprinted by occupying Japanese forces during World War II. After 1945, the area was in communist hands, using the stamps of North China (1946-50) and then of the Peking regime.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northern China, for which overprinted Chinese stamps were issued under the Japanese occupation.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf. One of the Trucial States under British protection from 1892-1971, Sharjah joined in the United Arab Emirates in 1971. During 1963-71, Sharjah issued a large number of colorful stamps and souvenir sheets, aimed at the collector market.
Sibenik (Sebenico) (1944)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. After Italy joined the Allies, the area was occupied by Croatian partisans, who overprinted Italian stamps for use in the region.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In November 1918, anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia formed a moderate socialist government under Adm. Kolchak. The armies of this regime soon occupied most of Siberia and invaded European Russia. At one point, they threatened Moscow, but they were eventually routed by the Red Army in late 1919. The Red counteroffensive overthrew Kolchak in January 1920, and the Siberian state rapidly disintegrated. Ten Russian stamps were surcharged and used in the territory under the regime's control.
Sierra Leone (1859-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,891,546 (1997 estimate). A republic in west Africa. The coastal area was occupied by Great Britain after 1791, the hinterland coming under British protection in 1896. In 1961, Sierra Leone became independent. Long one of the most progressive of Britain's west African colonies, Sierra Leone's early political stability and economic growth have given way to coups, countercoups, rampant corruption and an economy heavily dependent on foreign aid.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The area was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Simi" were issued. These issues were superseded by the general issues for the Aegean Islands in 1919, although two sets, overprinted with the name of the island, were released in 1930 and 1932.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state of northern Mexico bordering on the Pacific Ocean. Sinaloa issued stamps briefly in 1929, during a revolution against the central government.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,461,929 (1997 estimate). An island off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore was a British territory administered as part of the Straits Settlements from 1826 to 1942. It was under Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. In 1946, Singapore became a separate crown colony, joining with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore withdrew from the federation and proclaimed itself an independent republic. Singapore has a dynamic economy and is an economic leader in Southeast Asia.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The westernmost province of China. Because the currency used in Sinkiang differed in value from that used in the rest of China, the province used overprinted Chinese issues until 1949, when the communists assumed control.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 148,568. A former feudatory state in northern India.
Slovakia (1939-45, 1993-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,393,016 (1997 estimate). Republic in central Europe. A part of the homeland of the Slavic Moravian Empire in the middle ages, Slovakia was conquered by the Magyars in the early 10th century and remained under Hungarian rule until 1918. With the defeat of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Slovakia united with the Czech regions of Bohemia and Moravia to form the Republic of Czechoslovakia. When the country was occupied by Germany in 1939, Slovakia was established as a separate German puppet-state. The Soviet army liberated the country in 1945 and it again became part of Czechoslovakia. The post-war communist republic was dominated by Czechs, and old ethnic rivalries were revived. When Czechoslovakia began to democratize in 1989, Slovakia began to pursue an increasingly nationalist course. In 1992 Czech and Slovak political leaders agreed to dissolve the union, and on January 1, 1993, the two republics formally separated.
Slovenia (1919-21, 1941-45, 1991-)
Stamp-issuing status: active. Population: 1,945,988. A republic in central Europe, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia was a part of Hungary through the Middle Ages and was ruled by Austria after 1526. After World War I, it became part of the independent Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Slovenia issued stamps until 1921, when the first Yugoslav national issues were released. During World War II, Slovenia was divided between Germany and Italy, both of which issued separate stamps for their zones. After the war, the province was reoccupied by Yugoslavia, and overprinted stamps of the German occupation (Ljubljana), Germany proper, and Hungary were used, until replaced by regular Yugoslav issues. On June 25, 1991, Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. Although Yugoslav military forces initially attempted to suppress independence, they soon withdrew. Because it does not abut Yugoslavia and does not have the religious heterogeneity of other former Yugoslav territories, Slovenia has been free of the warfare that marked the area in the 1990s. Slovenia quickly began to integrate with the economy of Western Europe, and in 1997 all political parties announced their support for the country's membership in NATO.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Latvia. Russian stamps were surcharged by the municipal authorities for local use in 1919.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in western Russia. Surcharged Russian stamps were issued for local use by the city authorities in 1922.
Smyrna (1909-14, 1919)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The major port of western Turkey. The Italian and Russian post offices in the city used stamps of Italy and the Russian Levant, respectively, overprinted with the name of the city. During the Greek occupation of 1919-22, overprinted Greek stamps were issued for the area. In 1922, a similar overprint was applied to contemporary Italian stamps for use by the Italian forces occupying the port, but this set was never released.
Solomon Islands (1907-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 426,855 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the western South Pacific. The islands were a British protectorate designated as the British Solomon Islands until 1975, when, as the group approached independence, the "British" was dropped. The Solomons became self-governing in 1976 and fully independent in 1978.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,940,232 (1997 estimate). An area on the eastern coast of Africa, bordering on the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The northern coastal area was under the influence of the Turks from the 16th century and Egypt during the 19th century. The southern coast was under a vague Arab suzerainty after the mid-18th century. In 1905 the area was constituted as the Italian colony of Somaliland. In 1936, Somaliland was merged with Eritrea and Ethiopia to form Italian East Africa. In 1941, the area was occupied by Great Britain, which held it until 1950, using overprinted British stamps. In 1950, the area was returned to Italy, under a U.N. trusteeship. In 1960, the area became independent, merging with the former British Somaliland Protectorate to form the Republic of Somalia. In 1970, the nation's name was changed to the Somali Democratic Republic. A military coup in 1969 brought an increasingly socialistic regime to power. Relations with the Soviet Union strengthened, and a major Soviet naval base was established at Berbera. Soviet-Somali relations cooled when Moscow switched its support to Ethiopia in the two nations' dispute over the Ogaden, a large eastern region of Ethiopia populated primarily by Somalis. In 1977, Soviet advisers were expelled from Somalia. In 1978, Somali forces were expelled from the Ogaden by Ethiopian and Cuban troops. Over one million Somali refugees from the region fled to Somalia. The government survived this defeat but collapsed in 1991, after which Somalia disintegrated into a chronic anarchy, in which numerous warring clans vied for power. The northern portion of the country, formerly the British territory, separated from the rest of Somalia to form the independent Somaliland Republic.
Somali Coast (1894-1967)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 86,000 (1967 estimate). A former French African colony on the Gulf of Aden. In 1967, the colony's name was changed to the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. In 1977, it became independent as the Republic of Djibouti.
Somaliland Protectorate (1903-60)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000 (1960 estimate). A former British protectorate in eastern Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Aden. The area was occupied by Italy from 1940-41. On June 26, 1960, the territory became independent as part of the Somali Republic. In 1991, local leaders took advantage of anarchic conditions within Somalia to establish the independent Somaliland Republic.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in western Hungary. During the 1956 anti-communist uprising, contemporary Hungarian stamps were overprinted for use in the area held by the rebels.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued by the municipal authorities during the World War I Austrian occupation.
South Africa (1910-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 42,327,458 (1997 estimate). Republic occupying the southernmost portion of Africa. In 1910, the British colonies of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and Orange River Colony united to form the Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. In 1961, the republic was established. After 1948, South African internal policy was based on apartheid, a program of separate development of the races. This policy reserved for the white minority (17.5 percent of the population) the best jobs, political control of the government, and much higher wages than those of other ethnic groups. The plan aimed at the eventual creation of a large number of independent ethnic states. Four black states (Bantustans) were created: Transkei (1976); Bophuthatswana (1977); Venda (1979); and Ciskei (1981). None received international recognition, although each issued stamps that were routinely used within their borders. The South African government began to liberalize its policies during the 1980s, and in 1990 the chief black nationalist party, the African National Congress, was legalized. Negotiations between the regime and the ANC led to the removal of apartheid the following year. During 1992/94 events moved rapidly toward majority rule, which was effected with the ANC's April 1994 election victory.
South Arabia (1959-67)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former federation of British territories in southwestern Arabia. South Arabia became independent in 1967 as the People's Republic of Southern Yemen.
South Australia (1855-1913)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 360,000 (1901 estimate). A state of Australia, occupying the south-central part of the continent. South Australia was a British colony from 1836 to 1901, when it joined with five other colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia.
South Bulgaria (1885-86)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The former province of Eastern Rumelia in the southeast Balkans. In September 1885, a coup overthrew the nominally Turkish administration and established South Bulgaria, uniting with Bulgaria. Bulgarian stamps replaced those of South Bulgaria in 1886.
South China (1949-50)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist South China Liberation Area included the provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi. Regional issues were used after the occupation of Canton.
South Georgia (1963-79)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 25 (1975 estimate). An island in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 1962, when neighboring areas were detached from the Falkland Islands to become the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia remained a Falklands' dependency.
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (1986-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 500 (1987). Two groups of islands in the extreme south Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia is about 875 miles east southeast of the Falkland Islands and about 1,000 miles equidistant from Cape Horn and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The even more remote and southerly South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited. The last remaining component of the Falkland Islands Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands assumed its new title in 1985 and issued stamps beginning the following year.
South Kasai (1961)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of Zaire that declared itself autonomous after the Congo became independent from Belgium. This revolt was subsequently suppressed by the Belgian Congo central government.
South Moluccas (1950)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, west of New Guinea. During 1950, the South Moluccas revolted against the Indonesian central government and overprinted 17 Dutch Indies and Indonesian stamps "Republik Maluku Selatan." These stamps were apparently placed into local use. The main island, Amboina, was occupied by Indonesian troops in November 1950, although Moluccan resistance continued in the outer islands until 1955. During 1951-54, a long series of South Moluccan issues was marketed in the United States, but there is no evidence that these were ever actually used in the areas under Moluccan control. Some 35,000 South Moluccans emigrated to the Netherlands, and among this group nationalist sentiments still run high. Moluccan separatism again emerged, with the Indonesian economic crisis of 1997-98. In 1999 local riots and brutal Indonesian police repression revived local agitation for independence or autonomy from Indonesia.
South Russia (1919-21)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In October 1918, the Volunteer Army, composed primarily of veterans of the Russian Imperial Army, was formed under the command of Gen. Denikin. Denikin soon assumed leadership of almost all of the anti-Bolshevik elements in southern Russia and, in the summer of 1919, directed a major offensive against the Reds. By October, South Russian forces had occupied much of European Russia and threatened Moscow. A vigorous Red Army counteroffensive, the withdrawal of British and French support, and generally poor leadership brought the rapid collapse of Denikin's command in late 1919. In April 1920, having overseen the loss of all the region except the Crimea, Denikin resigned. Command was then assumed by Baron Peter Wrangel, probably the most effective of the White Russian leaders. Wrangel's administration of the Russian territories reflected an understanding of the economic goals of the revolution. Unfortunately, his superiors kept him from assuming a leadership position that equaled his talents, until the White Russian cause had been lost by less able leaders. Wrangel consolidated the Volunteer Army and held the Crimea until November 1920, when the army and its dependents were evacuated. The remnants of the South Russian forces temporarily settled in a number of refugee camps in Turkey and the Balkans, and a large number of Russian, Ukrainian and South Russian stamps were overprinted and surcharged for use in the camps. These issues were used until the camps were shut down in June 1921.
Southern Nigeria (1901-14)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 8.5 million (1912 estimate). A former administrative unit comprised of British holdings in southern Nigeria. In 1914, it was merged with Northern Nigeria to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.
Southern Rhodesia (1924-53, 1964-65)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4 million (1964 estimate). A former British colony in southeastern Africa. Administered as part of Rhodesia until 1923, Southern Rhodesia was ruled as a separate colony from 1923 to 1953. The territory was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1964, and again became a separate colony from 1964 to 1965. In 1965, the controlling white minority declared Southern Rhodesia independent of Great Britain.
South-West Africa (Namibia) (1923-90)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A territory in southwestern Africa. South-West Africa was a German colony until 1915, when it was occupied by the Union of South Africa. It was administered by South Africa, originally under a mandate from the League of Nations, until 1985. After years of attempting to absorb the territory, provoking intense internal and international opposition, South Africa permitted the establishment of a multi-racial regime in that year. In 1989 free elections resulted in a landslide for the South-West Africa People's Organization, the primary black opposition party, and in 1990 South-West Africa became the independent Republic of Namibia.
Southwest China (1949-50)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist Southwest China Liberation Area included the provinces of Kweichow, Szechwan, Yunnan, Sikang and Tibet.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 39,244,195 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southwestern Europe, occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula. Part of the Roman Empire from the second century B.C. until the fourth century A.D., Spain was subsequently overrun by Germanic tribes, which formed the Kingdom of the Visigoths (West Goths) until 711. The Arabs invaded Spain in that year, soon occupying all of the peninsula except a few Christian enclaves in the north. During the Middle Ages, Spain was reconquered by the Christians, who gradually pushed the Arabs south in a series of wars lasting from the 9th century until 1492, when the Arab stronghold of Granada fell. During this period, the states of Aragon and Castile came to include most of modern Spain, and the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile brought the union of the two states and the beginning of modern Spain. Spain's conquest of Granada in 1492, and the discovery of America by Columbus in the same year, brought Spain rapidly into the position of a great power. During the 16th century, Spain built a vast American empire and dominated western European affairs. Spanish power peaked c. 1580, when the Spanish king became king of Portugal as well, bringing that nation's empire under Spanish rule. The rise of The Netherlands, which overthrew Spanish rule in the late 16th century, along with the growing power of Britain on the seas and France on the Continent, marked the beginning of a long decline for Spain. Although it continued to rule a huge American empire, by 1700 Spain had become a second-class power. During the Napoleonic Wars, Spain was conquered by France, and Napoleon's brother, Joseph, was placed on the Spanish throne. Spain's colonies refused to accept Joseph's rule and proclaimed their allegiance to the legitimate monarch, Ferdinand VII. Because of this instability, Spain's American colonies were, in effect, self-governing for most of two decades. With Ferdinand's restoration in 1815, Spain attempted to regain control of its American colonies. Unwilling to return to their subservient status, the colonies revolted, and by the mid-1820s, Spanish rule had been overthrown on the American mainland. Lacking the wealth of its empire, Spain was thereafter a cipher in European affairs. In 1898-99, Spain was defeated by the United States in the Spanish-American War, losing its last American (Cuba and Puerto Rico) and Pacific (the Philippines and Guam) colonies. In 1931, the monarchy was ousted by a leftist republican movement, which instituted many liberal reforms but was unable to restore order in the country. On July 18, 1936, a conservative army officer, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, led a mutiny against the regime in Morocco, beginning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Franco was supported by Germany and Italy, while the Republicans were supported by the Soviet Union. The Spanish Civil War was in effect a dress rehearsal for World War II. The efficacy of modern weapons, the emphasis upon aircraft as a primary combat tool, and the principle of total war (against civilian as well as military personnel) were tested here. After a bloody war in which one million died, the Nationalists defeated the Republicans, and Franco assumed complete control of the country. During World War II, Spain remained neutral, much to the disgust and frustration of Franco's German and Italian allies. Despite this, in 1946, because of the regime's close fascist associations, Spain was expelled from the United Nations. It was readmitted in 1955. In 1947, Franco declared Spain a monarchy and provided for his succession by an heir to the Bourbon dynasty, overthrown by the Republicans in 1931. Upon his death in November 1975, Prince Juan Carlos assumed the crown. Juan Carlos immediately dissolved the harsher institutions of the Franco regime, and in June 1976, free elections brought moderates and democratic socialists to power. A right-wing coup in February 1981 failed, when the army remained loyal to the government. Since then, Spain has moved swiftly to rejoin the mainstream of Western Europe. Its economy is thoroughly integrated with those of its neighbors, and it is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Accord.
Spain — Carlist Government (1873-75)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1833, King Ferdinand VII abrogated the Salic Law (requiring succession through the male line), so that his daughter, Isabella, could succeed him on the Spanish throne. Ferdinand's brother, Don Carlos, who would otherwise have assumed the throne, refused to accept this, and upon Ferdinand's death in 1834 pressed his claim. This brought the First Carlist War of 1834-39. In 1872, Don Carlos' grandson, also named Don Carlos, reasserted his family's claim and soon controlled large areas in northern Spain. The establishment of a republican regime in Madrid in 1873 brought many Spanish monarchists into his camp. In December 1875, the Spanish monarchy was restored, and the Carlists rapidly lost ground. By February 1876, the Carlist movement had collapsed completely.
Spain — Civil War Municipal Issues (1936-37)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the Spanish Civil War, many cities and districts on both sides issued provisional overprints on Spanish postage and fiscal issues. These were used as propaganda, as controls to distinguish regular stocks of stamps from looted stocks, and as profit-making philatelic productions. Among those overprints legitimately used are those of Burgos, Cadiz, the Canary Islands, Malaga, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Seville.
Spanish Guinea (1902-60)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 210,000 (1959 estimate). Former Spanish colony in western Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. The territory comprised Rio Muni, Fernando Po (after 1909), and Elobey, Annobon and Corisco (after 1909). Fernando Po and Rio Muni were separated in 1960, reuniting in 1968 to form the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea.
Spanish Morocco (1903-56)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1 million (1955 estimate). The northern portion of Morocco, administered by Spain until 1956, when it was merged into the independent Kingdom of Morocco.
Spanish Sahara (Spanish Western Sahara) (1924-76)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76,000 (1975 estimate). A former Spanish possession in northwestern Africa, comprising Cape Juby, La Aguera and Rio de Oro. A large (100,000 square mile), sparsely populated (12,793 in 1960) area, the Spanish Sahara is mostly desert and was of little interest to outsiders until the discovery of rich phosphate deposits. From the 1960s, Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria all pressed claims to the area. In November 1975, thousands of unarmed Moroccans crossed into the territory (the "Green March"), and in February 1976, Spain withdrew from the colony. The Spanish Sahara was divided between Morocco and Mauritania, although a nationalist group, Polisario, declared the area independent and, with Algerian support, continued to wage a guerrilla war against Morocco and Mauritania. In 1980, Mauritania made peace with Polisario and gave up its portion of the area to Morocco. Fighting between Polisario and Morocco continues.
Spanish West Africa (1949-51)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 95,000 (1951 estimate). The former administrative unit comprising the Spanish colonies of Ifni, Spanish Sahara and southern Morocco.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Russia. Russian stamps were overprinted with new values by the local authorities.
Sri Lanka (1972-)
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 18,762,075 (1997 estimate). Island republic in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of India. Formerly the British Dominion of Ceylon, which became independent in 1972 as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The westernmost of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Now the Greek island of Astipalaia. Stampalia was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time 10 Italian stamps overprinted "Stampalia" were issued, with an additional surcharge added in 1916. The island's stamps were superseded by those of the Aegean Islands in 1929, although two sets totaling 15 stamps were overprinted for use in Stampalia in 1930 and 1932.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A short-lived Boer republic in southern Africa. Independence was suppressed by Great Britain in 1885 and Stellaland was incorporated into British Bechuanaland.
Straits Settlements (1867-1946)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.44 million (estimate). Former British colony in Malaya, comprising Singapore, Penang, Province Wellesley and Malacca, along with the dependencies of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and Labuan. Prior to 1867, unoverprinted British Indian stamps were in use. The colony was occupied by Japan in 1942-45 and dissolved in 1946.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 32,594,128 (1997 estimate). A republic in northeastern Africa, south of Egypt. Home of the ancient Kingdom of Dongola, the Sudan converted to Christianity and resisted Muslim pressure until the 14th century. Thereafter, it was divided into numerous petty states and was in Egyptian control from 1820 to 1885. The Sudan became united and independent after the Mahdi, a local religious leader, led a jihad against foreigners from 1881 to 1885. In 1898, the area was conquered by the British, and an Anglo-Egyptian condominium was established. In 1954, the Sudan became self-governing and, on Jan. 1, 1956, became an independent republic. Since its independence, Sudan has fought a prolonged civil war in the southern third of the country, where the predominantly black, pagan population seeks independence from the Arab, Moslem north. In 1969, a military coup brought a socialist regime to power, and in 1970, the government nationalized a number of businesses. In 1971, an abortive communist coup brought a temporary break in relations between the Sudan and the Soviet Union. Relations later improved, but after 1975 the Sudan moved away from the Soviet Union and strengthened ties with the United States. In 1992 the government imposed militant Islam throughout the nation, and the Sudan has since become a haven for Arab terrorists. Sudan is one of the few countries where legal slavery continues to exist.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The western border area of Czechoslovakia in which the majority of the population is German-speaking. After the Munich Agreement of Sept. 21, 1938, which transferred this region to Germany, local Nazis seized control of Sudentenland, pending formal German annexation on Oct. 1. A host of Czechoslovakian stamps overprinted "Wir sind frei" (We are free) were used during this brief period in Asch, Karlsbad, Konstantinsbad, Niklasdorf, Reichenberg-Maffersdorf, Mahrisch-Ostrau and Ramburg.
Suez Canal (1868)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1859-69, the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez constructed the Suez Canal in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas. Until 1867, the company transported mail between Port Said and Suez for free. The company then began charging for this service, and in July 1868 special stamps were issued. The stamps were not popular and were withdrawn from sale Aug. 16, 1868. They were demonetized Aug. 31, and the service was taken over by the Egyptian government.
Sungei Ujong (1878-95)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former Federated Malay State under British protection. The territory was incorporated into Negri Sembilan in 1895.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of central China, for which overprinted Chinese stamps were issued during the Japanese occupation.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 443,446 (1997 estimate). A republic in northern South America. Disputed by Great Britain, France and the Netherlands during the 17th-18th centuries, Suriname became a Dutch possession after 1815. In 1954, Suriname, along with the Netherlands Antilles, became an integral part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In 1975, it became fully independent at the initiative of the Netherlands. Some 40 percent of Suriname's population (mostly East Indians) emigrated to the Netherlands in the period immediately prior to independence. Since independence, Suriname has been plagued by political coups and economic instability.
Swahililand (Witu) (1889)
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until the late 19th century, the Sultan of Zanzibar controlled much of the coast of East Africa. Germany secured concessions from the sultan in the area around Lamu, Kenya, which in 1890 were ceded to Britain as part of the settlement for the British transfer of Heligoland to Germany. Prior to this (July-August 1889) the German postal agent at Lamu printed and issued stamps for use in the region.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,031,600 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique. The kingdom was formed by the Bantu tribes in the area in the 19th century, partly in defense against the warlike Zulu Kingdom. In 1881, Great Britain and the South African Republic (Transvaal) guaranteed Swaziland's independence. During 1894-99, the state was under the protection of the Transvaal and, after 1902, came under British administration. In 1963, it was recognized as a British protectorate and, on Sept. 6, 1968, became independent. Swaziland is a constitutional monarchy, and its first democratic elections were held in September 1993. Its fertile lands and abundant mineral resources have made significant economic growth possible. It is closely linked with South Africa.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 8,946,193 (1997 estimate). Constitutional monarchy in northern Europe, occupying the eastern portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Militaristic expansion in the 17th century made the Baltic Sea a Swedish lake, but after 1709, a series of defeats stripped Sweden of most of its empire. In 1813, Sweden joined in the war against Napoleon, receiving Norway (independent 1905) as compensation. Sweden has since maintained a policy of armed neutrality and has devoted its energies to social and industrial development. Sweden has long pioneered social and welfare policies, and its social support system is quite extensive. In 1976, 44 years of socialist government ended with the election of a conservative coalition. Conservatives and Social Democrats have since alternated in power, attempting to maintain the high quality of life in Sweden, while reducing the less affordable and economically dysfunctional aspects of the system. In 1994 voters approved joining the European Union.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,248,984 (1997 estimate). A land-locked federation in central Europe, situated between France, Germany, Austria and Italy. The country has three official languages: German, French and Italian. The nucleus of modern Switzerland appeared in the late 13th century, and in 1648, the Confederation became independent. Switzerland has not been involved in a foreign war since 1515 and, learning the lesson of Napoleon's seizure of the country, has since 1815 maintained a policy of armed neutrality. Switzerland has no military alliances and does not belong to the United Nations, although it participates in a number of U.N. programs and has U.N offices in Geneva. In 1986 the Swiss electorate rejected membership in the United Nations but in 1992 approved application to the European Union. The stability of the Swiss government and economy and of the Swiss franc — along with Switzerland's policy of banking secrecy – has made the country one of the world's financial centers.
Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 16,137,899 (1997 estimate). A republic in western Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Under Turkish control after 1516, Syria was occupied by the Allies late in World War I. British and French forces occupied the coastal areas, while the interior was taken by an Arab army, led by T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") and Faisal, son of King Hussein of the Hejaz. Lawrence and Faisal established an independent government, which claimed authority over Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq, as well as Syria. This regime was recognized by a Syrian congress, but France soon overthrew the government and occupied the country. During its brief existence in 1919-20, the Syrian Arab Government issued over 100 stamps, mostly overprints on Turkish issues. Faisal was compensated by being made king of Iraq, which his family ruled until 1958. In 1922, France assumed formal control of Syria under a League of Nations mandate. In 1941, a republican government was established, and the country became independent, although French troops remained until 1946. Syria was united with Egypt during 1958-61. Since 1963, it has been ruled by the Baathist party, a socialist, pan-Arab group. Hafez al-Hassad assumed power in a 1970 coup and has since ruthlessly repressed all political opposition. Syria has participated in each of the four Arab-Israeli wars since 1948. After the 1967 war, the Golan Heights, a strategic position commanding the plains of northern Israel, was lost to the Israelis. In 1973 additional territory was lost, but it was returned in a U.S.-brokered settlement in 1974. Syrian forces entered Lebanon in 1976 as part of an Arab peacekeeping force, and since the 1980s Syria has dominated that country. In 1991 Syria was the first Arab state to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and sent troops to help defend Saudi Arabia. Hopes for a permanent peace settlement between Syria and Israel rose in the general atmosphere of good feeling after Iraq's defeat the following year but soon foundered.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in southern China. For a time, surcharged Chinese issues were used in the province because of the devaluation of the local currency.
Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Hungary. Between May and November 1919, Szeged was the seat of the anti-Bolshevik Hungarian National Government, under Admiral Horthy. The occupying French forces prevented Horthy from attacking the Bolsheviks, but after the fall of the regime, the Nationalists occupied Budapest and established the National Republic. In June 1919, the Horthy government overprinted 49 Hungarian issues for use in the area under its authority.
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