This book explores how states in political transition use stamps to promote a new visual nationalism.

Stamps as products of the state and provide small pieces of information about a state’s heritage, culture, economies and place in the world. These depictions change over time, reflecting political and cultural changes and developments. The volume explores the transition times in more than a dozen countries from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Specifically addressed are the stamp topics, issues and themes in the years before and after such major changes occurred, for example, from a European colony to political independence or from a dictatorship to democracy. The authors compare the personalities, histories, and cultural representations "before" the transition period and how the state used the "after" event to define or redefine its place on the world political map. The final three chapters consider international themes on many stamp issues, one being stamps with Disney cartoon characters, another on "themeless" Forever stamps, and the third on states celebrating women and their accomplishments.

This volume has wide interdisciplinary relevance and should prove of particular interest to those studying geopolitics, political transition, visual nationalism, soft power and visual representations of decolonializing.

chapter |4 pages


Stamps as symbols of visual nationalism

chapter 1|18 pages

Images, semiotics and political transitions

Case studies of the first issues from eight nations

chapter 3|17 pages

Post-liberation Korea—the first postage stamps

A comparative semiotic study of nation-building in North Korea and South Korea

chapter 4|15 pages

From the Netherlands East Indies to Indonesia

A philatelic iconography of political upheaval

chapter 5|15 pages

Kazakhstan's first 25 years of postage stamps

Highlighting nature, nationalism, and selective Soviet memory

chapter 6|17 pages

Imaging political turmoil through postage stamps in the heart of Africa

Congo/Zaire 1950–1971 from colonialism to national identity

chapter 7|20 pages

Couriers of change

The semiotics of Senegalese postage stamps

chapter 8|13 pages

"Non!" visible

How Guinée stamped its political leadership on Africa's decolonization, 1958-1962

chapter 10|14 pages

Transitions in postage stamp iconography

From apartheid to democracy in South Africa

chapter 13|19 pages

History as stamped by postage stamps

Poland's transitions in the twentieth century

chapter 14|16 pages

Estonia on stamps

Abrupt and smooth periods of political transition

chapter 15|18 pages

The breakup of Yugoslavia

Territorial disintegration and political transition documented through images on stamps, 1986–2010

chapter 16|22 pages

Postage stamps as political transition and integration

The case of North Cyprus Europa stamps between 1975 and 1998

chapter 17|14 pages

Stamps of the Palestinian Authority

Asserting national identity while under occupation, 1994–2019

chapter 18|22 pages


The evolution of revolutionary stamps

chapter 19|19 pages

Local political upheaval and global cultural appropriation

The postage stamps of Grenada, 1974–1988

chapter 20|19 pages

Cartooning islands for fun and profit

The proliferation of Disney stamps

chapter 21|9 pages

Reading contemporary America through Forever stamp themes

A visual analysis and interpretation

chapter 22|25 pages

Feminine philately

Global unevenness in celebrating women on stamps