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 I'm imagining it wasn't inspired by this stamp issued — but then withdrawn — the previous year by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.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.)