To use postage stamps as propaganda material is not unusual. Many countries have issued these kind of stamps in the past and in all likelihood some will continue to do so in the future.
This is certainly the case in times of war, when propaganda can be deployed on all fronts, including postage stamps. In the ‘Cold War’ much propaganda was used, especially as it lasted so long.
One of the key players during this period was the Soviet Union. Many collectors will probably be aware of this stamp set among the many issued by the USSR, showing the heroic revolutionary leader Lenin in various poses – leading the proletariat to the future, addressing workers, sending his troops to victory in the civil war and leaning over a table planning his campaign.
But propaganda can also be less subtle and quite shockingly displayed. A striking example is the stamps shown below from North Korea and Vietnam, showing fighters inflicting a clear defeat for the US Army.
A more recent, but equally shocking stamp is this:
An Iranian child throwing a stone at a window with the flag of Israel on it. Even more shocking when one considers that this stamp was issued to mark the Day of the Child.
Look at the next stamp from the DDR (East Germany). How many girls would have voluntarily presented flowers to the brave NPA (National People’s Army) soldiers who protected the city of Berlin against the West German ‘fascists’ during the Cold War period? Yet typically, the Berlin Wall, built to divide that city, was known on the Eastern side as the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall”.
Another example comes from the Second World War. When Serbia came under German control these stamps were issued. The theme was the destruction of Freemasonry, with a heavy dose of anti-Semitism.