First Issues - 1877 to 1880

page 10.4a

We say Falklands and you say Malvinas

Mackay [1, p.129] first brought the expression of this controversy in stamps to my attention.

By lucky coincidence, at the time I was writing up the Falklands for this display, Stamp magazine published a piece on the subject by A.F. Gruene which expands on Mackay's entry and provides all the information needed to prepare this page.

Gruene takes matters back to Canada's 1898 Christmas stamp which, he notes, exaggerates the extent of the Empire, but notably includes a large red blob for the Falklands.  
  Canada Christmas stamp
1898 SG168 Sc95
In 1933, the Falklands celebrated their centenary as a British colony with a set of twelve commemoratives, including the Romney Marsh Ram, shown in the main entry and, more significantly, a map of the islands and a portrait of George V. I have bought the moderately expensive map, but the royal portrait sells for $1800/$2200 mint and used and so I have had to resort to a facsimile. Argentina refused to recognise the stamps and letters using the more controversial images were charged as underpaid. Falkland Islands SG131 Sc69 Falkland Islands 1933 SG Sc76
  Falkland Islands
1933 SG127 Sc65
Romney Marsh Ram
Falkland Islands
1933 SG131 Sc69
Falkland Islands
1933 SG138 Sc76
The Ram was commemorated in a 1984 set, as was the map, below, and another of the 1933 set not shown depicting the Islands' coat of arms (the original sells for £600/£800).  
  Falkland Islands
1983 SG451 Sc372
Falkland Islands
1983 SG452 Sc373
Argentina responded in 1936 with a long set which, quaintly, also featured a sheep, but more importantly, a map of South America that includes the Islands. Gruene notes that the British Ambassador in Buenos Aires was instructed by GB's Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, to protest. Argentina also received feedback from a more unexpected quarter: Mackay states that some of Argentina's South American neighbours, notably Bolivia and Paraguay, were also having boundary disputes, prompting a diplomatic redesign of the stamp in 1937. Argentina Argentina SG660a Sc446
1936 SG657 Sc442
1936 SG660 Sc445
1937 SG660a Sc446
In 1944, stamps for four of the other Antarctic island groups were issued (Graham Land, South Georgia, South Orkneys and South Shetland) and in 1946 a set of joint stamps mapping the Falkland Island Dependencies (the #1 for that entity), with another in 1980. The Falkland Islands revisited the 1933 map with a 1983 commemorative (others from the set are shown above).. Falkland Islands Dependencies SG-G1 Sc1L1   Falkland Islands SG450 Sc371
  Falkland Islands Dependencies
1946 SG-G1 Sc1L1
Falkland Islands Dependencies
1980 SG74A Sc1L38
Falkland Islands
1983 SG450 Sc371
Again Argentina responded quickly and then over the following decades. The 1947 issue extended to Argentina's Antarctic claims and in 1951 a reworking of the 1936 map, extending south (which also appeared as an official).
Chile also staked an Antarctic claim by stamp in 1947.
Argentina SG791 Sc561 Argentina SG826 Sc594 Chile 1947 SG374 Sc247
1947 SG791 Sc561
1951 SG826 Sc594
1951 SG Sc-O52
1947 SG374 Sc247
In 1954 Argentina celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first Antarctic post office and the setting up of a radio station on Orcadas del Sur (aka South Orkneys). The two 1964 stamps continue the theme with flags skewering the claims.
Mackay mentions the 1961 Antarctic Treaty as a steadying influence in this process.
[Also 1960 SG989 Sc719]
Argentina SG856 Sc621    
1954 SG856 Sc621
1964 SG1105 Sc757
1964 SG1106 Sc758

It is all too easy to poke fun at this posturing, but the situation became entirely serious in 1982 with the Falklands War and a reported 907 deaths over 74 days [Wikipedia].

Argentina marked the invasion with an overprint.
The islands marked the anniversary of liberation with four commemoratives and a miniature sheet.
Argentina SG1741 Sc1338
     width= Falkland Islands SG454 Sc375  
1982 SG1741 Sc1338
Falkland Islands
1983 SG454 Sc375
And the process has continued into the current century, with another map from Argentina in 2012 and the Islands celebrating the 2013 referendum. The question was, 'Do you wish the Falkland Islands to retain their current political status as an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom?'. On a turnout of 94%, 99.8 voted in favour (1,513 for, 3 against, 1 spoiled vote).    
2012 SG Sc
Falkland Islands
2013 SG Sc (size reduced)

Falkland Islands SG-MS458 Sc378a
1983 miniature sheet, SG-MS458 Sc378a (size reduced)

page started November 2013