Croatian Stamps

By Eck Spahich

Eck Spahich

Closely related with the Croatian struggle for freedom, independence and its own democratic state, is the appearance of the Croatian exile stamps issued in Europe, and later at various other locations wherever Croatian emigrants settled. The first Croatian exile issue saw the light in Bergamo, Italy. The set, issued by the Croatian Liberation Movement, consists of two stamps. Stamp number one shows Croatia’s checkerboard coat of arms on top of Croatia’s tri-colored flag, adorned with a triplated design. Value for the stamp is 50 Banica. Color ultramarine. Stamp number two shows a geographically sketched map of Croatia with its ethnic territory, which became a reality following the fall of the Royal Yugoslav dictatorship in April 1941. The set is 1 Kuna in value and red color. The first two Croatian stamps were designed by Colonel N. Jesenski and the set is today in great demand. Its value is much higher than quoted by the ”Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska” (Independent State of Croatia) catalogue, Madrid, 1975, The specialized Croatian catalogue prizes the set in 1975 at $10 each and $200 for a block of 10 stamps. This first Croatian exile set is extremely scarce.

Hrvatski Sabor

From 1934 to 1976 inclusively, some 30 different series of exile stamps and covers were issued by the Croatian Liberation Movement in Argentina and Spain. Thirteen of these sets are ”EUROPA” types, similar to the regular issues of the ”EUROPA” series issued by the various European nations.

The Croatian Peasant Society, headquartered in London, England, has issued a number of attractive philatelic labels in 1960’s, 1970’s and early 1980’s. This writer has not been able to compile a complete list of the issues.

Other organizations issuing items of philatelic interest include the Croatian Philatelic Society of Sydney, Australia, issuing several sets of stamps and covers.


The London-based Croatian language newspaper ”Nova Hrvatska” in 1984 issued ”EUROPA” series set in two colors, each sheet consisting of 32 stamps, for clandestine distribution in Croatia and other parts of Yugoslavia.

In 1960’s, several attractive philatelic sets, depicting the late Croatian Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac, were issued in the United States by the Croatian Franciscan Fathers in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, with proceeds of the sales of the labels going to Croatian parishes and clergy in the United States and Canada.

In mid 1960’s, the Croatian Relief Society, Inc. of New York City issued a three-color label depicting the Croatian flag, surrounded with the wording ”Help Croatian Nation Fight Communism”, and in smaller print, the name of the originating organization.

In addition to the above mentioned exile issues, and philatelic labels, several cinderella stamps were published for private speculation. In 1952, several cinderella sets, depicting flowers and animals, were issued. Another set was issued on the 75th anniversary of the Universal Postal Union with the same inscription: N.D. Hrvatska and N.D. Hrvatska Air Mail (triangles) in various colors. These stamps were issued for private speculation. The Croatian government-in-exile has denied issuing such sets, according to a spokesman.

A set of 20 different Croatian exile stamps are available for US$30 postpaid, from

Croatian Philatelic Society, P.O. Box 696, Fritch, Texas 79036-0696.

80kn, finch

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