Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anti-Americana: Don't You Have Anything in a "Love" Stamp?

The United States Postal Service issued its first "Love" stamp in 1973...almost forty years ago now. I'm imagining it wasn't inspired by this stamp issued — but then withdrawn — the previous year by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. I don't know why the North Korean government issued this stamp and then changed its mind, it's certainly no less viscerally rage-filled and violent than the dozens of other Anti-American postage stamps they'd already released. Not being able to read a word of Korean, I can't translate its clearly shouted slogan, and can't spot an error of symbolism that might have embarrassed the political monitors of the North Korean post office.

The design is boilerplate: a pair of American soldiers and a shattered stars-and-stripes are being smooshed by a giant red fist. The nuclear weapon brandished by one of the soldiers lies broken in two. Man, I hope that thing doesn't go off. Ah, 1972. I imagine it's pretty scary to live in a teeny tiny country, even a repressive one like the DPRK, knowing that a whole lot of nukes are pointed at you from right across a DMZ.

Did North Korean sweethearts use this stamp on their love letters?

(Anti-Americana is an ongoing Cahokian series: click here for almost 200 more propaganda images from around the world.)


  1. Maybe one of your readers can translate this for us.

    Hey, Ish, I don't even like living in a country filled with nuclear power plants let alone weaponry. (Well, as far as I know, no nuclear weapons...)

  2. Annie did you ever see that 1980s TV movie "The Day After"? It's about a nuclear war between the US and the Soviet Union and it's set in Kansas, right next door to you! It's got some really chilling scenes of the moment right after "the button" is pushed when these nice people hanging up laundry in their backyards watch the missiles bound for Russia come out of silos they had forgotten about more or less right next door. YIKES. At least we don't seem to have to worry about that right now. I guess that's some progress.

  3. I found a reference. Rather obvious:

    "Let Us Smash Down United States Imperialism at One Blow"