Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spain - Moda Espanola, Pedro Rodríguez 2008

Spanish Fashion - Pedro Rodríguez
Issue date 23/10/2008
Stamping Gravure with micro-relief
Paper Phosphorescent, gummed, chalk coated paper
Perforated 13 3/4
Size of the Stamps 28.8 x 49.8 mm. (vertical)
Face value of the stamps €0.31
Editiona 500.000

Spanish Fashion plays an important role in international catwalks and Paris, London, Milan and New York are witness to the work of our great designers. Philately, for second year running launches a four stamp issue depicting haute couture outfits by the well known designer Pedro Rodriguez.

Considered to be a sculptor of fashion and one of the most famous couturiers of the XX century, Pedro Rodriguez (Valencia 1895- Barcelona 1990) devoted his long life to the art of dressing. As a boy he learned to make his first stitches in the best tailor’s shop in Barcelona and later on went on to work in Rabaseda’s atelier where he learnt all about women’s couture. In 1919 he set up his own atelier with his wife Ana María, a professional couturier and began his career in the world of haute couture setting up in 1924 his atelier in the Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona. In 1929 he showed his collections in the Palacio Nacional de Montjuich, coinciding with the Feria Internacional de Muestras and became the most important couturier of his time. In 1937 he opened a showroom in San Sebastián and two years later in Madrid. His collections were showed in the most important catwalks in Europe and America obtaining international recognition and his showrooms were visited by the high bourgeoisie, the aristocracy and famous American film stars. The arrival of the industrial quality clothing industry in the late 60’s began to slowly displace haute couture and forced Pedro Rodriguez, as well as other couturiers, to close down his atelier.

The souvenir sheet depicts, from left to right and from top to bottom, a ball dress (1968-1970) with bodice, belt and a silk chiffon skirt hand painted in orange, pink and red degraded tones. The bodice is fitted and has cord shoulder straps. Next, there features a strapless dress (around 1947) with a full skirt in satin with jet and sequin embroideries reproducing floral motifs. At the hem there’s a flounce in silk tulle. From the 60’s there’s a chiffon dress with dots and flowers with a V-neck and a bow at the nape. Finally, there features a dress and coat in pink crepe. The coat has an embroidered strip with geometric motifs at the neck and cuffs. The images have been provided by the Museo del Traje (Dress Museum) in Madrid.

Spain - Moda Espanola 2007

Spanish Fashion - Cristóbal Balenciaga
Issue date 18/10/2007
Stamping Gravure
Paper Phosphorescent, gummed, chalk coated paper
Perforated 13 3/4
Size of the Stamps 28.8 x 49.8 mm. (vertical)
Block sheet size 105 x 150 mm. (vertical)
Face value of the stamps €0.39; €0.42; €0.58 and €0.78
Editiona 500,000 block sheets

To mention fashion is to speak of trends, catwalks, shows and models; of a world where great fashion designers and design masters combine the art of dress making with new fabrics and textures to show the world the latest trends. Correos devotes this issue made up of a Souvenir sheet of four stamps to Spanish fashion and to one of the most famous Spanish designers of all times, Balenciaga.

Amongst the names that host a place of honour in the pages of international fashion is no doubt that of the Spaniard Cristóbal Balenciaga (Guetaria, Guipúzcoa 1895-Valencia 1972), the promoter of a new style proclaiming “finesse of simplicity”. Master Balenciaga began his learning in Madrid. After opening the first couture salons in San Sebastian, Madrid and Barcelona in 1937 he settles in Paris where he stands out for the sobriety and the sumptuousness of his evening dresses. In the fifties he creates a new line of tight bust dresses, wasp like waists and voluminous hips; coats with no buttons or collars, Japanese sleeves, tunic dresses and the so called Empire style. His designs were worn by queen Fabiola of Belgium, princess Grace of Monaco and the duchess of Windsor. He was against prêt a porter and mass production and retires in 1968.

The souvenir sheet depicts representative pieces of a wardrobe. The 0,39 € stamp depicts a chantilly lace ivory colour dress over taffeta transparencies. It has a waist cut and plenty of volume. It was made in Paris in 1948-1950.

The 0,42 € stamp depicts a two piece party dress in red silk satin. The little jacket with a Japanese sleeve is embroidered with sequins and metallic thread and silver lamé. Paris 1960.

A morning suit made up of a dress and coat in red made in the sixties features in the 0,58 € stamp.

The last stamp of 0,78 € depicts a yellow linen dress with a square shaped neckline. The sleeve is again in a Japanese style and the skirt is slightly pleated. It has eleven plastic buttons of the same colour.

The images that are depicted in the stamps have been given by the Museo del Traje (Costume Museum) in Madrid, an institution that aims at making known the historical evolution of clothing of the regions of Spain.

Spain - Autonomous Regions 2009

Autonomous Regions/ Communities
Issue date 02/01/2009
Stamping Offset
Paper Self-adhesive, phosphorescent
Size of the Stamps 40.9 x 28.8 mm (horizontal)
Medidas del carné sin plegar 166 x 63 mm.
Face value of the stamps Price A (1 stamp = normal letter up to 20 g for Spain)
Editiona Unlimited

The series devoted to the Autonomous Communities (regional governments) of Spain, is issued in a booklet format of self adhesive stamps with a domestic A rate.

In each stamp is depicted the outline of the map of each Autonomous Community with its banner and coat of arms as well as the Spanish National flag. The Spanish flag is yellow and red and it is based upon a design of 1785 which has suffered variations. The national coat of arms is regulated by the Ley 33/1981 of October 5th. It is the heraldic symbol of Spain and the elements that make it up have a nine century long tradition.

Since 1981, the principality of Asturias has its own Statute of Autonomy. Its flag depicts the Victory Cross in yellow over a blue background. From its arms pend the Greek letters alpha and Omega symbolising beginning to end.

The Statute of Autonomy of Galicia was established in 1981. Its institutional flag is inspired in the old banner of the maritime province of XIX La Coruña. The background is white and has a blue diagonal stripe crossing it.

Also in 1981 Cantabria was granted its Statute of Autonomy and its flag is horizontally divided into two halves, one white and the other red with the coat of arms in the middle.

The Statute of Autonomy of Cataluña dates back to 1979 and its flag is the traditional one of the King and Queen of Aragon. It is made up of four red and five yellow stripes.

Since 1979 the Basque Country also has its own Statute of Autonomy. Its flag, also known as Ikurriña, is a white cross with two green diagonal stripes over a red background.

Finally Andalucía was also one of the first to be granted the Statute of Autonomy in 1981. The colours of its banner, white and green evoke the colours of the Andalusian landscape and symbolise the hope in the future and peace. The coat of arms depicts the figure of Hercules holding two lions between columns.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Faroe Island - Faroese Dances, by Czeslaw Slania 2003

Day of issue: 22 September 2003
Stamp #100 by Czeslaw Slania for the Faroe Islands.
Motif: Emil Krause: Faroese dance in Viðareiði.
Size: 35.60 x 46.00 mm
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method: Stell plate engraving/offset
Printer: Posten Frimärken, Sweden

Czeslaw Slania, engraver to the Swedish Court is known all over the world by technicians and artists in engraving for his skill, accuracy and speed. Over 1000 stamps has he engraved, an incredible world record that probably never will be beaten.

Slania was born 22nd October 1921, in the small Polish town Czeladž. Even as a boy he started designing miniatures, first of all portraits… and horses. He also made drawings of his schoolmates and copied money bills or stamps. He later was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, which is recognized as one of Europe's most reputed Art Graphic Centres. Already as a student, he was offered employment with the Polish Stamp Printing House, where he worked for 6 years. In 1956, at the age of 35, Czeslaw Slania moved to Sweden, where he after a couple of years started working for the Swedish Post. He has now engraved stamps for the Swedish Post through 40 years but has also produced stamps for postal authorities all over the world. Furthermore, he has been appointed Royal Court Engraver in Sweden, Denmark and Monaco, and won numerous awards for the beauty, speed and proliferation of his engravings.

He has also engraved banknotes and a large number of private works serving as practice work i.e. a set showing famous movie actresses and another set showing all the champions of heavyweight boxing from 1889 to 1964.

Slania's versatility is evident in the broad range of subject matter he happily tackles, from royal portraits and flora and fauna to film stars. He even finds time and space to include the odd personal reference within his minuscule canvas: a caricature of himself or the names of friends. "One of the pleasures is", says Slania, "that the motifs are so varied. That makes it very interesting to work here as an engraver. I like particularly when there are many different details in a motif, such as horses, clouds, naked skin, a small brooch ... this makes things pleasantly complicated, exactly as on my 1000th stamp!"

Czeslaw Slania engraved the first stamps issued by Postverk Føroya in 1976, and he has engraved one hundred Faroese stamps altogether.

“Dance in a main room“
Emil Krause (1871-1945) educated painter and lithographic lived in Farum in Denmark. He visited the Faroe Islands on two occasions (in 1904 and in 1932) where he among other things painted the picture “Dance in a main room in the Faroe Islands” (1905) picturing the traditional Faroese chain dance in the village Viðareiði on the island Viðoy. The painting hangs in the town council of the capital Tórshavn. The particular about this picture is that Krause appearantly has painted two versions of the same subject. The other painting hangs in the town council of Klaksvík.

Emil Krause has especially asserted himself through his genre pictures, e.g. of the life of the Faroese fishermen, and Copenhagen motifs like pictures of the fishwives at Gammel Strand. Besides he has done a large number of portraits and landscape paintings and paintings of the old Copenhagen and the provinces.

Faroe Island - National Costumes, by Czeslaw Slania 1989

National Costumes of the Faroe Islands
Date of Issue: 10 April 1989
350 National Costumes - Sjostuka and Stavnhetta
600 National Costumes - Stakkur
Engraver: Czeslaw Slania

The stamps do not depict the usual national costume, but rather more finer festive clothes.

National Costumes

The traditional national costume, which, lide the national costumes of many other European countries, originates from the common people´s everyday clothes in the 19th century, is still widely used in the Faroes. In recent years it has gained renewed popularity, especially among young people. The national costume is used for festive occasions, e.g. weddings and gatherings.

However, the stamps do not depict the usual national costume, but rather more finer festive clothes. The female costume is called stakkur, the male costume sjóstúka. On his head the man also wears a stavnhetta.

The stakkur has been used as finery, particularly as bridal dresses, for many centuries. The earliest account dates back to 1673. In the olden days only the spouses of the wealthiest farmers wore the stakkur. It fell to female descendants by inheritance, so that generations of girls could wear it as wedding finery. The stakkur is a long whole dress, made of azure, scarlet or grassgreen cloth – on rare occasions of black cloth. Silk is often used today. The skirt has numerous tucks with a princesse-cut bodice. The sleeves are long and narrow with cuffs and quilled laces. The colour of the cuffs and bosom is different from the rest of the dress – in this case it is red. A silk collar and a belt made of silver or velvet with attached silverplates goes with the stakkur. One end of the belt, the sproti, which may be ornamented with silver, hangs loosly down the skirt. The matching ornaments are eyelets, lace and a large, preferably golden, square brooch with small loose leaves, stakkanál, which is fastened onto the neckwear and the bosom. On her head the woman often wears a crown or a diadem. The stakkur, which for years has been relatively rare, is now enjoying a renaissance.

The sjóstúka is a kneelong black frieze coat, which originates from men´s everyday clothes 150-200 years ago. In the middle of the 19th century the sjóstúka became finery. The coat is sewn with side vents, the back is cut in one piece, the top of the sleeves are wide and rounded at the wrist with short slits and a button. The coat has black glass buttuns, except the two uppermost, which are made of silver and connected with a chain. White stockings and leather shoes with silver buckles often go with the sjóstúka. The headgear, stavnhetta, was a symbol of dignity, which together with sjóstúka was the finery of wealthy farmers and other persons of rank. The sjóstúka and stavnhetta have in later years enjoyed a certain popularity, but the costume is still relatively rare.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Romania - Coat of Arms 1976

Title: National Coat of Arms
Date of Issued: 15 June 1976
Design: Ion Dumitrana
Price: 1.75Lei
Perforation: 13 1/2
Issued: 1,000,000 stamps
Flaws: Coloured dot on leg of P in POSTA (r3, c2)

Title: Districts - Coat of Arms
Date of Issued: 20 December 1976
Design: Ion Dumitrana
Price: 55 Bani
Perforation: 13 1/2
Issued: 1,000,000 sets

1. Alba
2. Arad
3. Arges
4. Bacau
5. Bihor
6. Bistrita-Nasaud
7. Botosani
8. Brasov
9. Braila
10. Buzau
11. Caras-Severin
12. Cluj
13. Constanta
14. Covasna Flaws:
last A of ROMANA detoriated inside (r3, c8)
15. Dimbovita

(as far as I can see most counties have changed their coat of arms today)

Romania - Coat of Arms 1977

Title: Districts - Coat of Arms
Date of Issued: 05 September 1977
Design: Ion Dumitrana
Price: 55 Bani
Perforation: 13 1/2
Issued: 1,000,000 sets

2. Galati
3. Gorj
4. Harghita
5. Hunedoara
6. Ialomita
7. Iasi
8. Ilfov
9. Maramures
10. Mehidinti
11. Mures
12. Neamt Flaws:
black patch under T in NEAMT (r3, c4)
13. Olt
14. Prahova
15. Salaj
16. Satu Mare
17. Sibiu
18. Suceava
19. Teleorman
20. Timis
21. Tulcea
22. Vaslui
23. Vilcea
24. Vrancea
25. Romanian Post

(as far as I can see most counties have changed their coat of arms today)

Romania - Coat of Arms 1979

Title: Cities - Coat of Arms
Date of Issued: 25 October 1979
Design: Ion Dumitrana
Price: 1.20 Lei
Perforation: 13 1/2
Issued: 500,000 sets

1. Alba Iulia
2. Arad
3. Bacau
4. Baia Mare
5. Birlad
6. Botosani
7. Braila
8. Brasov
9. Buzau
10. Calarasi
11. Cluj
12. Constanta
13. Craiova
14. Dej
15. Deva
16. Drobeta Turnu Severin
17. Focsani
18. Galati
19. Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
20. Giurgiu
21. Hunedoara
22. Iasi
23. Lugoj
24. Medias
25. Oderheiu Secuiesc

Romania - Coat of Arms 1980

Title: Cities - Coat of Arms
Date of Issued: 05 January 1980
Design: Ion Dumitrana
Price: 1.20 Lei
Perforation: 13 1/2
Issued: 500,000 sets
Issued in pairs

Flaws: yellow dot under first cog at right
2. Pitesti
3. Oradea
4. Petrosani
5. Piatra Neamt
6. Ploiesti
7. Resita
8. Rimnicu Vilcea
9. Roman
10. Satu Mare
11. Sibiu
12. Sighetu Marmatiei
13. Sighisoara
14. Suceava
15. Tecuci
16. Timisoara
17. Tirgoviste
18. Tirgu Jiu
19. Tirgu Mures
20. Tulcea
21. Turda
22. Turnu Magurele

Romania - 70 Years Romanian Communist Party 1988

Date of Issued: 29 December 1988
Perforation: 13 1/4
Quantity: 200,000 stamps

white dot under N in National + brown dot at wheat (r1, c1)
black dot at top between T&I in naTIonal (r5, c4)
white dot under R in unitaR (r1, c5)
blue patch in right top corner (r1, c4)
red dot over O in rOmana (r2, c3)
black dot under U in Unitar (r3, c2)

The Communist Party

Founded in 1921, the Communist Party was declared illegal in 1924 and forced underground until 1944. Because of the party's association with Moscow, it was unable to attract broad support. The communists came to power as a result of the Soviet occupation of Romania during the final year of the war. With Soviet backing, the party gradually consolidated power and sought to extend its base of popular support. In early 1948, it merged with a wing of the Social Democratic Party to form the Romanian Workers' Party. By the end of 1952, however, almost all of the Social Democrats had been replaced by Communists.


At the close of World War II the Communist Party had fewer than 1,000 members. Three years later, at the official congress that sanctioned the merger with the Social Democratic Party, it reported more than 1 million members. This rapid growth was the outcome of an intensive propaganda campaign and membership drive that employed political and economic pressures. Subsequently, a purge of socalled hostile and nominal members during the early 1950s resulted in the expulsion of approximately 465,000 persons.

During the early years of full Communist control, the party considered itself the vanguard of the working class and made a sustained effort to recruit workers. By the end of 1950, the party reported that 64 percent of leading party positions and 40 percent of higher government posts were filled by members of the working class. Efforts to recruit workers into the party, however, consistently fell short of goals.

By 1965, when the name Romanian Communist Party was officially adopted, membership had reached 1,450,000--about 8 percent of the country's population. Membership composition at that time was 44 percent workers, 34 percent peasants, 10 per cent intelligentsia, and 12 percent other categories.

After his accession to power in 1965, Ceausescu sought to increase the party's influence, broaden the base of popular support, and bring in new members. His efforts to increase PCR membership were extremely effective. By February 1971, the party claimed 2.1 million members. The Twelfth Party Congress in 1979 estimated membership at 3 million, and by March 1988, the PCR had grown to some 3.7 million members--more than twice as many as in 1965, when Ceausescu came to power. Thus, in the late 1980s, some 23 percent of Romania's adult population and 33 percent of its working population belonged to the PCR.

At the Thirteenth Party Congress in November 1984, it was announced that the nationality composition of the PCR was 90 percent Romanian, 7 percent Hungarian (a drop of more than 2 percent since the Twelfth Party Congress), less than 1 percent German, and the remainder other nationalities.

As of 1988, workers made up about 55 percent of the party membership, peasants 15 percent, and intellectuals and other groups 30 percent. Because of the PCR's special effort to recruit members from industry, construction, and transportation, by late 1981 some 45.7 percent of workers in these sectors belonged to the party. In 1980 roughly 524,000 PCR members worked in agriculture. Figures on the educational level of the membership in 1980 indicated that 11 percent held college diplomas, 15 percent had diplomas from other institutions of higher learning, and 26 percent had received technical or professional training.

In the 1980s, statistics on the age composition of the party were no longer published. The official comment on the subject was that the party had a "proper" age composition. Outside observers, however, believed that the average age of the membership had risen dramatically. The share of pensioners and housewives increased from 6.6 percent in 1965 to 9 percent in 1988.

Women traditionally were underrepresented in the PCR. In late 1980, they accounted for only 28.7 percent of the party's members, prompting Ceausescu to call for increasing their representation to about 35 percent.

A document on the selection and training of party cadres adopted by a Central Committee plenum in April 1988 provided information on the backgrounds of individuals staffing the political apparatus. According to that document, workers, foremen, and technicians supplied 79.8 percent of the cadres of the PCR apparatus, 80.1 percent of the apparatus of the Union of Communist Youth (Uniunea Tineretului Comunist, UTC), and 88.7 percent of the trade union apparatus. By late 1987, the proportion of women in the party apparatus had risen to 27.8 percent from only 16.8 percent in 1983. More than 67 percent of activists in the state apparatus and 59.4 percent in the trade unions were under forty-five years of age. The document also asserted that 95.7 percent of PCR Central Committee activists and 90.7 percent of activists in judet, municipal, and town party committees were graduates of, or were attending, state institutions of higher education.

Organizational Structure

As the fundamental document of the PCR, the party statutes set basic policy on party organization, operation, and membership. Originally adopted in May 1948, the statutes underwent several modifications, with significant revisions in 1955, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1974, and 1984. Many of these changes strengthened Ceausescu's hold on the party and reduced the role of rank-and- file members.

All organs of the party were closely interrelated and operated on the principle of democratic centralism. (Derived from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, this concept required a firm hierarchical subordination of each party organ to the next higher unit. In practice, party programs and policies were directed from the center and decisions of higher organs were unconditionally binding on all lower organs and on individual members.) The statutes called for the free and open discussion of policy questions at congresses, conferences, and local membership meetings. But discipline required that once a decision was made, the minority fully submitted to the will of the majority.

According to the party statutes, the supreme organ of the PCR was the party congress, consisting of delegates elected by the judet conferences at a ratio of 1 delegate per 1,000 members. The party congress, which convened at least once every five years, elected the PCR general secretary, the Central Committee, and the Central Auditing Commission and discussed and adopted programs and policies proposed by central party organs.

Between congresses the leading party organ was the Central Committee. At the Thirteenth Party Congress in 1984, the Central Committee consisted of 265 full and 181 candidate members--twice as many members as in 1969. The Central Committee was responsible for the overall direction of party activities and the implementation of policies established by the party congress. In addition, it screened nominations for the more important party and state positions. Party statutes required a plenary session of the Central Committee at least four times a year.

Several important changes in the structure of the party leadership were enacted by the Central Committee in March 1974, a few months before the Eleventh Party Congress. The Standing Presidium of the Central Committee, whose members were the most influential individuals in the party, was abolished and replaced by the Political Executive Committee ( Polexco) Permanent Bureau. Although formally the Central Committee elected the leading party organs, in practice the Polexco Permanent Bureau was a selfperpetuating body, and any change in its membership or in that of the Secretariat was generated from within rather than through a democratic decision by the Central Committee. The Secretariat, most of whose members were full or candidate members of the Polexco, had responsibility for overseeing the implementation of party decisions. As general secretary of the party, Ceausescu headed both the Polexco Permanent Bureau and the Secretariat and chaired the Polexco.

The Central Committee was backed by an extensive bureaucratic structure that in many instances paralleled the organization of the government ministries. A chancellery office, headed by a chief and three deputies, coordinated the committee's overall administrative activities. Party work was organized under several permanent sections, which were typically headed by a supervisory secretary, and a number of administrative sections and functional commissions. The designations of the sections were agriculture, armed forces and security forces, cadre, culture and education, economic affairs, foreign relations, letters and audiences, local economic administration, organization, party affairs, propaganda and media, social problems, and administration.

In 1989 the following commissions were directly tied to the Central Committee: the Party and State Cadres Commission; the Ideology, Political and Cultural Activities, and Social Education Commission; the Party Organization and Mass and Public Organization Commission; and the Economic Cooperation and International Relations Commission. Most of these commissions appeared redundant, addressing problems within the purview of the Central Committee sections, various joint party-state organizations, and the ministries.

As the center for decision-making and policy control, the Polexco Permanent Bureau was the most powerful body in the country. Established in 1974, the Permanent Bureau went through several stages. Initially it consisted of five members, but after the Twelfth Party Congress in 1979, it expanded to fifteen members. In 1984, however, it was reduced to eight members, including Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, and in June 1988 it had only seven members. Most observers agreed that in fact the decision-making process was limited to the Ceausescus and their most trusted allies, not all of whom held positions in the Permanent Bureau, the Polexco, or the Secretariat.

Little information was available on the responsibilities of the Polexco, although some observers regarded it as an administrative link between the Permanent Bureau and the Central Committee. In practice, it functioned as a rump Central Committee when the latter was not in session. The Secretariat served as the continuing administrative unit of the party. It supervised the execution of policies decreed by the Permanent Bureau.

Two other important party organs functioned under the supervision of the Permanent Bureau and the Secretariat: the Central Auditing Commission and the Central Collegium, formerly known as the Party Control Commission. Consisting of seventy-three members (none of whom could belong to the Central Committee), the Central Auditing Commission was empowered to exercise general control over party financial affairs and examine the management of finances by the various party organs. During the 1980s, the commission literally became a place of exile for officials who had fallen out of favor. The twenty-two-member Central Collegium dealt with matters of party discipline and served as a type of appeals court for penalties imposed on members by judet or local party committees.

An interlocking of authority and functions at the highest level of the party and state was evidenced in the frequency with which the senior party officials also held important government posts. In the late 1980s, all the members of the Polexco Permanent Bureau, the Polexco, and the Secretariat were GNA deputies, and most of them held prominent positions in the State Council, the Defense Council, or the Council of Ministers.

The party statutes described the basic party organization as the foundation of the party. Basic party organizations existed in factories, offices, cooperatives, military and police units, social and cultural organizations, and residential areas. Some of the party units consisted of a few members, whereas those in the larger enterprises could have as many as 300 members. In 1980 there were an estimated 64,200 basic party organizations.

The local and occupational basic party organizations implemented party directives and programs, recruited and indoctrinated new members, and disseminated propaganda directed at those outside the party. Members had the duty to participate in social, economic, and cultural activities, particularly those associated with economic enterprises, and to examine critically production and community life in the light of party ideology and goals. In all their activities, the local party units were required to uphold the discipline of the party and to adhere to the policies established by the ruling bodies of the PCR.

Between the basic party organizations and the higher organs of the PCR stood a hierarchy of party committees organized on the judet, town, and communal levels. Each of these units was directly subordinate to the next higher level of the party organization. Each party committee set up its own bureau and elected a secretariat. In most cases the secretariat consisted of a first secretary, a first vice-chairman, and three or more vicechairmen or secretaries.

The activity of the bureau was conducted through several functional departments, which generally consisted of sections on personnel, administration, agitation and propaganda, economic enterprises, youth, and women's affairs. The judet and city committee also had their own control commission and training programs. The first secretary of the judet committee served as chairman of the judet people's council, linking the party and government offices.

At each of these levels--judet, city, town, and commune--the highest authoritative organ was the party conference, which played a role similar to that of the party congress on the national level. The party statutes called for the convening of conferences every five years in the judete, in the city of Bucharest, and in the larger towns. In communes and smaller towns the conference was held every two years. Although the conferences were held ostensibly to discuss problems and formulate policies, they served in practice as transmission belts for the official party line set down by the central PCR authorities. Judet conferences and the Bucharest city conference elected candidates to the national party Congress.

Ideology and Party Program

In the early 1970s, the PCR carried on a campaign to strengthen the Marxist character of its ideological, cultural, and educational activities. Within limits Ceausescu encouraged "socialist democracy" and open communication between the masses and the party leadership. He defined "socialist democracy" as a spirit of social responsibility among the citizens to perform their duties in accordance with the needs and imperatives of society as a whole. Socialist democracy sought to stimulate the masses to support the cause of socialism by involving them in PCR programs so that the individual citizen's goals and values coincided with those of the party.

In the mid-1970s, Ceausescu announced a new ideological program and the tightening of party control over government, science, and cultural life. Some observers regarded this campaign as a response to Soviet criticism of Ceausescu's foreign policy. It may have been a reminder to Moscow that socialism was not endangered in Romania and that the Soviets could not use this pretext to justify intervention as they had done in Czechoslovakia in 1968. Others considered it an assertion of authority by Ceausescu to combat domestic ideological laxity and what he perceived as corrupting Western influences. Partially directed at the youth of the nation, the campaign included curbs on alcohol in the youth clubs and on the screening of foreign television programs and music.

Another objective was increased party control over literature and cultural life. New ideological guidelines were issued for writers, publishers, and theaters. Ceausescu declared that the arts must serve the single purpose of socialist-communist education. At the same time, he called for increasing guidance of the arts by all levels of the PCR and requested that works of art and literature be judged for their conformity to party standards and their service to the working class. Although Ceausescu ruled out repressive measures, he asserted that the party would rely on persuasion to implement the new ideological program.

In the late 1980s, the PCR ideological program consisted of two major components--the political and ideological education of the citizenry and the scientific study of Romanian history. The former entailed the thorough study of PCR experience, Ceausescu's theses and recommendations, and the classics of Marxism-Leninism. The scientific study of Romania's history was considered profoundly important in developing the population's awareness of their DacianRoman origin and the continuity of Romanian habitation of their homeland, particularly in the face of historical claims made by neighboring countries.

During the 1980s, the party's perception of its role in society changed. It no longer saw itself as the detached vanguard of the working class, but rather as the vital center of the nation and society. The party's identification with national interests was interpreted as rejection of the concept of "dictatorship of the proletariat," a phrase that was supplanted in party parlance by "state of the revolutionary workers' democracy." The policies pursued by the PCR were designed to maintain firm control of economic planning and administration. Party control was enhanced by the territorial and administrative reorganization of 1968, which set up commissions in all of the new judete to function under the direct supervision of the judet PCR committees. These commissions gave the party direct control over local economic programs.

Party Training

In early 1970, the PCR carried out a major reorganization of its primary institution for the training of leading party workers, the Stefan Gheorghiu Party Academy, which was renamed the Stefan Gheorghiu Academy for Social-Political Education and the Training of Leading Cadres. The academy's mission was to train party activists and develop party leaders who could resolve problems by "applying the science of political leadership to the party and society." In September 1986, the academy was renamed the Party Academy for Social and Political Training, but its structure was not changed.

In 1989 the academy still consisted of two departments, one for the training of cadres in the party and mass organizations and a second for the training of personnel working in economic and state administration. Each department was subdivided into a number of institutes, sections, and training centers.

Admission to academy programs was carefully controlled by the party. Courses in the first department lasted four years, and candidates were selected from among activists in the judet and city party committees, central PCR bodies, and mass organizations. Political activists in the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Interior, and the Department of State Security were also eligible for training in the first department.

The PCR also maintained the Institute of Historical and SocialPolitical Studies in Bucharest, which functioned under the direct supervision of the Central Committee, and lower-level training programs that operated under the judet party committees.

In 1988 the PCR Central Committee adopted a document setting forth policy on cadre political and ideological training. The document demanded that party and state bodies work with greater determination to accomplish the political, ideological, and revolutionary education of cadres. The Central Committee also adopted a draft program for improving cadre training in the party apparatus, the ministries, and industrial enterprises. It called for special programs to send party workers without access to political schools to university courses for political and managerial training.

The study programs, which included practical work, discussion of specific problems, and field trips, covered such subjects as automated data processing, socioeconomic analysis, forecasting, and many specialized topics. To facilitate training of large numbers, branches of the Party Academy's Center for the Education and Training of Party and Mass Organization Cadres were set up in Bucharest and in three judete.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Papua New Guinea - Headdress 2008

The costumes in Papua New Guinea are spectacular.
There are three main parts to each costume: headdress, face and body painting, and ornaments.
There is a large variety in all these depending on which tribe they come from.
Some of the headdresses are truly really amazing.
They also make wigs using human hair and plant fiber.
They decorate them with flowers, leaves and feathers.
Especially important are the feathers of the Bird of Paradise, which in Papua New Guinea's national bird.

For Sing-Sings, which are musical festivals , tribal groups spend hours preparing their spectacular costumes. The colors and patterns of face paint indicate the wearer's tribe and status.

Shells are a very important part of the traditional costume. Gold lip-ed pearl shells are carved into curved shapes, called Kina. Circles of smaller shells, called Toea look like coins and were often worn through the nose or in necklaces. The words “Kina” and “Toea” are today used for money. In PNG currency 100 toea equals 1 kina. Even today, though, real shells might still be used as money in ceremonies such as weddings.

Every body ornament has a meaning. Strings of dog, porpoise, or fruit bat teeth indicate a person's wealth. Tattoos were once made by punching sharpened wood or bone needles and dye into the skin. Only people of high status were permitted to have tattoos. For special occasions, felt pens are now used as a less painful way to have a temporary tattoo.

These days, most people wear second-hand Western clothes. They still wear their traditional costumes for special festivals. Especially in the Highlands traditions are still important.

Papua New Guinea - Headdress 2004

Papua New Guinea - Provincial Flags 2001

10 Toea, Enga Province
The background is divided into black (for the national flag) and green (for vegetation) triangles. At the centre is a yellow, black and white Dendrobium engae orchid (the provincial flower).

15 Toea, Simbu (Chimbu) Province
The bird of paradise and Southern Cross from the national flag are combined with two red spears (representing leadership), a white chain (for unity) and a yellow coffee branch (for the main cash crop).

20 Toea, Manus Province
A yellow Manus Friarbird flies over brown (land) and blue (sea) triangles. The 5 Manus Green Snails represent the five regions.
Here is the extract from the interview with the designer of the Manus provincial flag Luke Bulei, where he explains the meaning of the flag elements and colours:

..."Many of our people have interpreted the flag and the symbols in it wrongly, either intentionally or because of misunderstanding. In 1977, Worei Community School was informed of the Manus Provincial Flag Design Competition. With limited resources and assistance, I decided to take part in what was to represent the people of Manus later. At the time I was working on the entry, the symbols and colours had specific meanings.

The colour brown represents the inland people and the blue represents the island people. The Chauka is only found in the Manus province. It is not found in any other place in PNG. My second reason for selecting the chauka is that it heralds the coming of dawn and signals the going down of the sun. Thirdly the chauka often warns us of dangers. Fourthly it informs us whether the hunting trip will be successful or not. And of course the NBC Radio Station in Manus had become Maus Bilong Chauka several years before. The other important symbol on the Manus Flag is the green snail. Like the Chauka, the green snail is unique to the Manus province."...

50 Toea, Central Province
The silhouette of a lakatoi canoe represents tradition. It is set over a blue background representing the sea. A large star (for Central Province) and five smaller stars (the 5 districts) are set over a red background representing the land.

2 Kina, New Ireland Province
The Southern Cross (a guide to seafarers and indicator of the seasons) is shown over a blue background for the sea. A silhouette of a paradise drongo (a bird found only in New Ireland) is shown on an orange background.

5 Kina, Sandaun (West Sepik) Province
Black and red triangles form the background, with the gold bird of paradise symbol from the national flag set over the red. Six stars (representing the 6 districts) are set above a light blue setting sun with yellow rays (the provincial symbol).

Papua New Guinea - Overprints Provincial Flags 2004

The Papua New Guinea Provinces:
Where the Provincial Flags on Stamp for West New Britain & National Capital District (Port Moresby) ??

Papua New Guinea - Provincial Flags 2004

70 Toea, East New Britain Province
A green stripe separates red and blue triangles. Four white stars over the blue represent the national flag. Traditional shell money surrounds a circle. Masks of Tolai (dukduk) and Baining dancers are in the centre.

70 Toea, Madang Province
The flag of Madang is red-yellow-black, with 6 small white stars on the bottom of the black stripe and an emblem in black in a white canton.

Red, yellow and black stripes (representing the national flag) form the background. Six white stars represent the 6 districts. In black and white, Madang's memorial to the coast-watchers of the Second World War is surrounded by coconut palm branches (for agriculture) and a slit drum (for tradition).

It appears the province of Madang (Papua New Guinea) has changed its flag. In former times five BLACK stars were arranged in the middle yellow stripe. Now there are seven it's white stars in the lower black strip arranged.

2.65 Kina, Eastern Highlands Province
Eastern Highlands: Red and green triangles form the background. Inside a large yellow star in the centre, a legendary one-legged man named Nokondi holds a coffee branch (the province¹s main cash crop). The star has 6 points (for the six districts). It is surrounded by 8 smaller stars (for the local government councils).

2.70 Kina, Morobe Province
The background stripes are green (for vegetation), yellow (for Markham Valley) and blue (for the sea). A white bird of paradise (representing animal life), white pig¹s tusks (traditional exchange), a brown and yellow kundu drum (for festivals) and spears (for traditional warfare) are at the centre.

4.60 Kina, Milne Bay Province
Ratio 2:3. Two vertical stripes, green and white, respectively, at hoist (about 1/7 of the fly width each), then diagonally divided (NW-SE) blue-red, with a golden star in upper fly.

Stripes of green (for plants) and white (for beaches) are shown on the left. A square is divided into triangles of blue (for the sea) and red (for festivals). A yellow star on red represents the Eastern Star (a seafarer's guide) and Christian missionaries.

Isn't this very similar to the South Moluccan independentist flag?
They're a bit far apart from each other (Milne Bay is the SE tip of Papua New Guinea), but..

10 Kina, East Sepik Province
In the upper right quarter, a yellow bird of paradise (representing the national flag) is set over a red background. In the lower left quarter, a haus tambaran (for the hill and plains people), crocodile (for the river people), shark (for the coast people), kundu and garamut drums, spear and lime pot (representing culture) are set over a green background.

Papua New Guinea - Provincial Flags 2005

75 Toea, Gulf (Goeland) Province
Inside a blue background, 2 crocodiles (rivers) surround a disc with a white seagull (representing the people) over red, and the Southern Cross (representing the 5 original districts) over black.

75 Toea, Southern Highlands Province
A black stripe separates red (upper right) and green (lower left) triangles. Seven white stars (for the 7 districts) cover the red and green. A cassowary head (representing traditional exchange) and two spears (for defence) are set in yellow over the black.

1 Kina, North Solomon (Bouganville Islands/ Republic of Meekamui) Province
After 1st September 1975 flag of the republic was in use. It's described 15-9-75: the flag is dark blue signifying the Pacific Ocean where our country is; green in the circle signifies our rich island; the jagged white shell is our money; the black signifies our skin color of which we are very proud and is unique in the Pacific, the hat in the centre is called upe worn by young men at the transition period from adolescence to manhood. The stripes on the hat (red)-centre stands for men and those at the side for women.

Just a few words on the matter. Bougainville is presently a part of Papua New Guinea. The meeting referred to was held to determine whether those opposed to the status of the island would split with the opposition party (Bougainville Interim Government (BIG)) and the (Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA)). I would not call this a national flag rather a subnational or flag of an aspirant people, as there is not presently a recognized nation, except through the Unrepresented Nations and People's Organization (UNPO) where the Bougainville Interim Government represents these people.

3 Kina, Oro Province
A gold strip of tapa cloth with red and black markings (representing culture) and a yellow Queen Alexandra birdwing butterfly (representing wildlife) cover a green background (for vegetation).

3.10 Kina, Western Highlands Province
A white stripe (for peace) separates triangles of green (for vegetation) and black (from the national flag). Stars represent the 3 geographic regions. The provincial emblem is set over the green.

5.20 Kina, Western (Fly River) Province
The black and red of the national flag form borders around a gold square holding the provincial emblem. The emblem, in black outline, includes a head-dress with white wing feathers of the crane (for unity) and a bow and arrows (for tradition).

Asked, "David, don't you forget Fly River?" Well, this turned out to be Western, so probably the province changed its name. Can anyone confirm this ???

Saturday, May 2, 2009

China - The 50th Anniversary of The Founding of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region 2005

The 50th Anniversary of The Founding of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region
Date of Issue: 01 October 2005
Serial Number: 2005-21
Values in Set: 3
Denomination: 2.40 Yuan
Designer of Stamps: Liu Bingjiang
Size of Stamp: 40 x 30 mm
Perforation: 12 x 12.5 mm
Sheet Composition: 9 (3 Sets)
Size of Sheet: 166 x 156 mm
Printing Process: Offset
Printing: Shenyang Post & Telecom Printing House of Liaoning Province

(3-1) 80 fen - J Song of a New Chapter
(3-2) 80 fen - J Ode to Joy
(3-3) 80 fen - J Song of Bumper Harvest

Background Informations:

On 01 October 2005, the state Post Bureau will issue a three-piece set of commemorative stamps, "The 50th Anniversary of the Founding of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region", with a total face value of 2.40 Yuan. The pictures on the stamps are named "Song of a New Chapter", "Ode to Joy", and "Song of Bumper Harvest", respectively.

Located in China's northwest frontier, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions is the largest provincial area in China, where many ethnic groups live. Bordering on eight countries, Xinjiang is where the main route of the ancient Silk Road ran through. Xinjiang Ugyur Autonomous Region was founded on 01 October 1955. During the past 50 years, under the leadership of the central government and with its support, the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live in harmony and have made remarkable contributions to the prosperity and solidarity of the large family of the Chinese nation. The Xinjiang people and the army stationed there have striven to develop, build, and defend the frontier, and made historical achievements in all aspects of Xinjiang's economy and society.

Geographical Location:

Situated in the northwest of China Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region was known in China as the Western Territory in ancient times. Capital city is Urumqi.

Its 1.66 million square kilometers represent about one-sixth of the total territory of the largest of China's regions and provinces. Xinjiang also has the longest boundary among China's provinces and autonomous regions and shares 5,600 kilometers of frontier with Mongolia in the northeast, then Russia, Kazakhstan, Kryrgyzstan, and Tajikistan in the west, and then Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India in the soutwest.