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PHILATIC ARTICLES 2005
Design, proofs, specimens, postmark of the Oceania Nations Flag stamp..

Special Flag.

The overiding consideration for the stamp was how to represent the Nations of Oceania with a single stamp. With so many Nations and a sensitive history- for instance the Spanish slave trade, seemed a way to bring discord. It was then decided to feature an all embracing flag, yet no flag exists for all the Nations of Oceania. It was thus decided to design such a flag around the theme of the Southern Cross which is a constellation of the Pacific Nations. A peace wreath embraces the stars on Pacific blue. The only other color apart from blue and white is the gold lined stars representing the sun which shows on many individual countries flags. But it was also decided to print the stamp in a single color of pacific blue so that the flag would appear dark blue on a light - almost sky blue background. The stamp was to be small and have the date as part of the design with the words Oceania Nations postage and a value in New Zealand dollars of 81 cents.

Back Catalogue Index pages 1-6

The first step was the designing of the flag. This Grey pencil sketch was produced for the flag and developed into a blue artist essay sketch.
The peace wreath and the stars were added and this was developed into this mono color blue version.
Then this color version was created with gold on the inside of the stars. By this time it was decided the stamp would be printed in tones of blue, and so the blue monocolor version of the flag was chosen above.

 

 

 

 The first essay version to be printed was this 81cent plain background. This was printed in pairs in a tone of blue. These had the words New Zealand in white along the bottom and the phrase - stand united behind the flag, The stars and the wreath appear faintly blue and the flag background very dark.
 Essay two had the cloud background and the border was ragged. New Zealand appeared solid. This was printed in pairs with a modification to the words- stand united behind the flag , to A united flag.

 

 At this stage it was decided to balance the colors and to lighten the flag. For the first time a scenic background was used instead, so this was from a new grey toned plate and some grey tone images were printed for contrast balance.

 

The blue printings without words or values were printed until the desired tone of blue was achieved below. These color trials were done in strips until the desired tone and contrast was achieved. These color balancing printings were printed on ungummed paper five across from dark to the lightest.

Proofs were printed in blocks of four. The words- A united flag, was deleted as it was decided the stamp would be too political. The value was still 81 cents.

For the proof printing of sheets of twenty and the imperforate specimen overprints the value was changed to 85 cents. Production printing of sheets departed from previous by printing onto prior perforated sheets and the stamps printed into each perforation frame

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