Pro Patria, in Latin, means ‘for one’s country’. The Pro Patria Association is a Swiss patriotic and charitable association whose aim is to promote Swiss National Day, which now takes place every August, and to collect funds to benefit disadvantaged groups and minorities. Much of the money collected comes via the sale of postage stamps and postcards in co-operation with Swiss Post. Pro Patria Swiss stamps were first issued in 1936 featuring an alpine shepherd (see above). Pro Patria stamps are an important and popular topic for collectors of Swiss charity stamps.
National Day commemorates the Federal Charter of 1291. These National Day celebrations are referred to as the Bundesfeiertag (German), the Festa Nazionale (Italian) or the Fête Nationale (French). The 1940 Switzerland stamp sheet shown here commemorates three battles – (from left to right) Sempach 1386, Giornico 1478 and Calven 1499 – and the fourth stamp shows a Swiss Ranger from the First World War.
The stamps issued in 1942 commemorate the 2,000th anniversary of Geneva, featuring an ancient view, and the War Memorial in Forch, erected for Swiss soldiers from the Canton of Zurich that died during World War I.
Please visit PostBeeld’s webshop to see many more great examples of Pro Patria stamps.