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Thursday, September 27, 2012

'Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately'

'Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately' 

Here is the book  'Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately' (ISBN: 978-93-81523-39-1), published by Niyogi Books, New Delhi- 110 020, Website:

Decades of hard work, enthusiastic philatelic endeavors and extensive research on the subject for so many years sees the fruition in this book in the form of possibly the first and only authoritative book on the history of the Indian National flag, exposed through philatelic articles, till date.... This book is a must-read for those who are interested in Indian history and those who are curious about the Indian National flag, its background, development and true meaning... I sincerely hope it gets wide acceptance as there isn't a lot of resources available to tell us about the history we should know as proud Indians in a very appealing way... I  can honestly say that it is unputdownable... A bit of history, a bit of patriotism and a bit of storytelling. Just grab a copy and enjoy!

  Friends this is how the intelligentsia have introduced the book...

Prof Bharati Roy, Vice President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Govt of India says, "Sekhar Chakrabarti's innovative book "The Indian National Flag unfurled through Philately" tells us the fascinating history of the Indian flag through the medium of stamps. It is a fine blend of painstaking research and a dedicated pursuit of philately. The stamps reveal a visual message from the past and the text lucidly transports us through the process by which the Indian national flag had its birth. I congratulate the author for giving us this treasure of a book".
 Prof. Dipak Ranjan Das, Former Professor & Head, Dept. of Ancient History & Culture, Calcutta University, Member: West Bengal Heritage Commission says;  “Mr Sekhar Chakrabarti, an acclaimed philatelist, has taken upon himself the challenging task of narrating the history of Indian flags from the days of yore, deriving information from an unconventional source.  It is like the bow of Ulysses which could not be drawn by any weaker hand.  He weaves the colourful history of Indian flags gathering data primarily from philatelic materials.  The successful completion of this daring venture earns for Mr Chakrabarti a permanent niche in the world of historians engaged in vexillological research”.
The book is published by Niyogi Books, New Delhi. ISBN: 978-93-81523-39-1. Price @ Rs. 495, $17.  
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012



The Birth of Meter Franking Machine;
Though, experimental postage meter machines began before the end of the nineteenth century, and practical trial was carried out in Norway and New Zealand but it was in the USA that most progress was made towards a practical machine. The idea of a postage meter came to Arthur H Pitney in 1901 and a company, the Pitney Postal Machine Co, was formed in 1902 to exploit the invention. In 1919, Pitney met Walter Bowes of the Universal Stamping Machine Co to sell their Universal cancelling machines. The two men became partners and in 1920 they set up the Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Co which eventually became the largest organisation in the field of postage meter manufacture. The UPU in the Congress held in 1920 in Madrid, gave the approval of franked mail for transmission anywhere in the world effective from 1922. (Earlier, it was confined for domestic mails only).

India - credited as the first Asian country to introduce postage meter in February 1922, with a few ‘Ernest Moss model D’  automatic franking machines imported from New Zealand.
After India gained independence, it was decided on 24 December 1949 (Saturday) that the designs of the impression made by the Franking Machines to have “Asoka Chakra”(Emperor Asoka's Wheel of Law) , similar to India’s National Flag instead of existing ‘British Crown’ and ‘GRI/GVIR’ legends. The earliest commercially transmitted post-independence Indian meter stamps can be found from 1950 onwards.
The earliest Indian Meter slogan that I have in my collection showing ‘Flags’ dated -2 April 1953 produced by the Universal Multi Value Model.  
 All Shipping Lines  have distinctive ‘House Flags” and Industries associated with shipping are traditionally the most prolific user of flags as their sign or emblem. 
 The 40th Anniversary of Indian Independence (1947-1987)
 Birth Centenary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1989)
 Some very interesting pictorial slogan meters having Flag references. 

Finally, I am tempted to quote the question and explanations  Harry Dagnal FRPSL  offered in his column “Philatelic Backdrop” in the G.S.M. February 2000 issue, “Are meter marks collectable stamps ?”. And he continues, “Most stamp collectors he knew saw them (Franking Meters) as the enemy of ‘proper’ stamps and view with gloom the time when meter marks and e-mail will mean the end of adhesive postage stamps”. Dagnal , however, did not share this pessimism; He assures there will always be the traditional stamps, if only because of the Post Office ...., will not easily relinquish the income it derives from the collectors. 

Rajpex-2015, Day: 3, 26th January 2015.
On the third day of Rajpex-2015, 66th Republic Day of India was celebrated with patriotic fervour and gaiety. On the occasion a Special Cover was issued on highest National Flag situated at Natural Heritage – Central Park, Jaipur. For the first time in India Special Cancellation in the form of Digital Franking using Remotely Managed Franking System (RMFS) had been applied on the special cover. The Special Meter Frank depicts National Flag and Slogan ‘Highest National Flag in Rajasthan’ and ‘Greetings on Republic Day’. The meter franks were serially numbered from 1 to 1000.(Source: Indian Philatelists' Forum).
 In Remotely Operated franking system (RMFS) there is no need to take the machine to Post Office. Funds can be directly credited to machine through telephone interface from server.