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Flags on stamps

Last modified: 2024-05-18 by antónio martins
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Ed. remark: Most of the contents of these pages were originally researched by Ron Lahav in 2005, and by Richard Mallett later on, with additional input by others. Contributions of vexillological nature are duly credited and dated.

See also: External links: (find country-specific websites in the respective stamp issuing entity pages)

About flags on stamps

This is a part of our site’s Bibliography pages under the assumption that stamps are a kind of “source” for officially sanctioned vexillological information, especially about flag design, and also a bit on usage and history. That typically such information is either irrelevant (because the same or better information is published elsewhere) or erroneous is an interesting fact.
António Martins, 05 Dec 2005

Not to say that one source is better than the other, but the stamps themselves are also issued by the government. The stamps in general are not always accurate, but most stamps are issued by the governments that sell them. On the other hand, stamps are typically issued by semi-autonomous institutions that, despite depending on the government, typically has autonomy in terms of stamp design.
Jorge Candeias, 31 Aug 2001


Flag errors in stamps

Many stamps show wrong flags, as some coins show wrong arms!
Ralf Stelter, 22 Oct 1998

I’ve seen so many inaccuracies on stamps, flag wise, that I’m quite reluctant to treat them as trustworthy sources. To me, stamps are more or less at the level of flag plates in Encyclopedias in what concerns reliability. Therefore I guess that caution is not unwise.
Jorge Candeias, 31 Aug 2001

As was already proven in several cases, stamps tend to be very untrustworthy evidence in vexillology. The stamps, especially those of Third World countries are made far away from home and the artists drawing them have little knowledge of the local reality. The errors even when found then tend to be ignored for the sake of the cost their correction would require, especially if the errors were not that large and would be spotted only be a very experienced eye.
Željko Heimer, 23 May 2004

The stamps of many smaller countries are not produced locally at all and most of them don’t even get to the issuing country.
Nahum Shereshevsky, 12 Apr 1997


List of philatelic catalogues

(Some other catalogues, namely those of a more specialized scope, are mentioned and referenced on the relevant pages: Afinsa, Bale, ЦФА | CFA, IATP, Jugomarka, Zumstein, and more)



Chronological progress of this flags-on-stamps catalog kept by FotW:

15 May 2024:
4068 flags (and other 528 flag-related items) showing on 3087 stamps issued by 227 entities
(number of issuing entities back-corrected to exclude those with zero issued stamps)
16 Sep 2010:
3110 flags (and other 529 flag-related items) showing on 2990 stamps issued by 224 entities
11 Jun 2009:
2955 flags (and other 528 flag-related items) showing on 2881 stamps issued by 224 entities
04 Out 2007:
2705 flags (and other 527 flag-related items) showing on 2720 stamps issued by 223 entities
17 Sep 2007:
2046 flags (and other 495 flag-related items) showing on 2465 stamps issued by 223 entities

Anything below this line was not added by the editor of this page.