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Heraldry on Stamps

Show us your heraldry on stamps, covers, postmarks, etc. If possible with a bit of explanation what it is we're looking at!

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Adrian15/02/2013 09:19:02
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Seen this week's blog yet?


Let's build up a great thread with all our heraldic stamps, covers, etcetera! Here's a couple to get started.


Belarus 1992: the Arms of Polotsk. The arms depict a ship sailing up (or down) the Polota river, from which the ancient city gets its name.


Another Belarus stamp from 1992 shows the national coat of arms as it was at the time. It depicts the pahonia or pursuer, an ancient heraldic symbol dating from the 14th century. The white knight holds a silver sword and is seated on a white horse, with on his shield the yellow patriarchal cross of the nation. This coat of arms was abolished in 1995 and replaced with a more Soviet style coat of arms.

Michael Chambers15/02/2013 11:19:27
277 forum posts
255 photos

Good idea. There is actually a brilliant thematic guide to heraldry on stamps available to view on

It tells you almost everything you ever wanted to know about heralry over 64 pages.


Edited By Julia Lee on 15/02/2013 12:43:31

Julia Lee15/02/2013 12:45:03
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
122 articles

I sorted the link for you.

Great resource, but I did get THREE advert pages popping up when I opened it, which I think is a bit much.

Michael Chambers19/02/2013 21:35:59
277 forum posts
255 photos

I've always really liked the long-running series of the coats of arms of French towns which started with some monohrome issues in the 1940s. Here are a few. I can't say too much about what the heraldry represents, I'm afraid. The bird in the first stamp is presumably a phoenix. I like the rampant lion in the Auch stamp.






Adrian20/02/2013 09:21:44
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Thanks for showing these, Michael. I agree that they're a great series, and it must have been popular enough at the time as well, seeing it was extended to the German areas which France occupied after the Second World War!

I tried to find a bit out about the Auch lion but that proved harder than I thought!


Julia Lee20/02/2013 10:00:26
2047 forum posts
1002 photos
122 articles

Michael - if you put a book or something heavy over the top of your material before you scan it, that'll stop that lifting and blurring. (Unless they're in an album and you can't?)

Alex20/02/2013 14:51:03
610 forum posts
13 photos

The French used, as mentioned, similar heraldic stamps for their part of occupied Germany. The heraldic shields were for the German states of the Rheinland, the Plalz (part of Bavaria, historically), Wuerttemberg (where the Black Forest is located), the Saar and Baden. First issued in 1945, they were valid until 1948.



Here is a registered letter using French and Allied occupation stamps.


Another cover with the heraldic stamps, L-R Rheinland, Saar, Wuerttemberg.


Two Plalz shield stamps applied on a Third Reich stationery card.


Another Plalz stamp used on a Allied stationery card. Though these were supposed to be valid throughout the Allied Zones of Occupation, the French didn't always accept these. Here the Allied imprint has been crossed out and a French stamp, of the same postcard value, added.


This card has the 1945 Local Issue stamp of the town of Goerlitz, which was in the Russian zone. The stamp has the heraldic device of that town.


Adrian20/02/2013 19:20:28
1828 forum posts
971 photos
4 articles

Like the Görlitz stamp, Alex! The city has been part of many districts during its history and the arms reflect that with the eagle representing Silesia and the lion representing Bohemia.

It might be one Vera will be interested in as well as she is working on imperial eagles, I believe, so maybe you can put it up in the birds thread as well? Just in case she doesn't follow this thread?

som ghatak21/02/2013 07:04:13
139 forum posts
90 photos

Wonderful thread) Its pity am away from my stamps now cant contribute.but am thoroughly enjoying it..

Michael Chambers21/02/2013 11:13:14
277 forum posts
255 photos

I really enjoyed all that material from Alex. A really interesting area to pursue.

In its choice of towns for its coat of arms series France also included some from Algeria. Interestingly, the one with the arms of Algiers (Alger) which I posted above was issued just a year or two before France pulled out of Algeria. I gather that the crecent represents Islam, the boat the algerian fleet, the sheaf of corn the main crop and the lion probably symbolises the lions in the gates of the city. The coat of arms also has a cross which presumably has a Christian reference. Anyway, there is no longer a cross on the current Algiers coat of arms.

A stamp was issued at around the same time with the coat of arms of Oran which I think is the second largest city in Algeria and which I seem to recall was the setting for the Albert Camus novel, La Peste (The Plague). Here it is, an interesting mix of traditional French symbols like the fleur-de-lys and Islamic symbols like the crescent.


Of the numerous French stamps showing regional or town coat of arms, the one which I find most intriguing is that of Corsica. It was issued in two colours in 1946.


A little internet search reveals that there are numerous stories about the origin of the moor's head. it was originally a femal Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. In the eighteenth century it was used by both sided during the struggle for independence.

in 1760 General Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold to be raised to symbolise the freedom of the Corsican people. Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

The head on the current Corsican flag is male rather than female and has a regular knot at the back of the head.

Two more interesting facts:

  • the unblidfolded version of the moor's head quartered with the British coast of arms was the official flag of Corsica for a few years in the 1790's during the time of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom.
  • the Sardinian flag consists of four moors' heads

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