A series of 42 stamps featuring flags of 21 countries was issued in 1951 by Korea. They were produced to recognise assistance provided by those 21 countries during the three-year Korean War. Armed forces were sent from 16 United Nations countries, including a large contingent from the United States. Five other countries – India, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Italy – contributed medical services to support the effort. At that time Italy was not a member State of the United Nations, thus being the only non-member State to participate.
The green stamps show, centre, the Statue of Liberty accompanied by the flag of a participating country and that of Korea. The blue stamps display the UN emblem with doves and the same flags.
The flag of Italy stamps shown here commemorate the medical and humanitarian aid rendered by the Italian Red Cross.
Unfortunately the wrong flag vignette was used. The crown and shield of the old Kingdom of Italy appear in the central, vertical white panel on the original version released in October 1951 (the bottom pair above).
The redesigned stamps (top pair above) issued in 1952 feature a larger shield without the crown. Despite this alteration, the designer again used the wrong flag! In 1946 Italy became a Republic with a tricolour flag having three equally wide vertical panels of green, white and red, but without any emblems.
The following are the stamps showing the other four countries that contributed medical services to support the effort.