Iraq’s Postal History - Faisal Commemorative Stamps


Jul 12, 2014 Europe/London

The use of stamps in Iraq started centuries ahead of other regions and this was first run by Assyria. This was confirmed by the excavated cuneiform tablets and clay envelopes. But the formal operations of a postal service in the country happened in 1920 thanks to the British mandate given through the League of Nations. The first stamps were the definitive series that was introduced in the market in 1923 which included 12 stamps with eight different designs that tell the story of the country. The stamps’ denominations were available in rupees and annas, and came with the words ‘Postage and Revenue’ and ‘Iraq’. Another important stamp that was introduced was the stamp designed in honor of Faisal I of Iraq, released in 1927 available in 1-rupee value and followed by 13 values.

Faisal stamps get surcharged in time for independence

Iraq gained independence in 1932, and this was also the time when new stamps were offered and updated including the Faisal stamps. These specific stamps were surcharged and were released on April 1, 1932. When King Ghazi took control of the country, a new set of stamps was printed using the same design found in the Faisal stamps but the difference can be seen in the profile of Ghazi. These stamps in honor of the king were soon replaced by new stamps featuring the country’s natural wonders and local scenes after the untimely death of the king. New stamps depicting Faisal II were also introduced in 1942, a time when Faisal II was still a young boy.

Iraq released its commemorative stamps

Iraq issued its first set of commemorative stamps in 1949 in time for the 75th year of Universal Postal Union. And during the coronation of Faisal in 1953, the government also printed new stamps and souvenir sheet. There were also some commemoratives that were printed during the time of General Qassim. Other leaders including Saddam Hussein soon followed, and their regimes also helped print a number of stamps.
However, immediately after Saddam’s regime and the invasion spearheaded by United States, the regular stamp production in the country was stopped. The last stamp that was printed in the country was the Saddam University postage stamp that was released on February 5, 2003. The latest stamps printed were the Transportation stamps that were released to the general public on January 29, 2004.