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Swiss Stamps


Pro Patria Issues

of 1972-1979

Pro Patria Swiss stamps generate funds to benefit social and cultural charities that are in the country's national interest.  Pro Patria, the Latin phrase from where we get our English word "Patriotism", means "for one's country" or "for the fatherland".

Unless stated otherwise, the surtax amounts on all these Swiss stamps benefited the Swiss National Fund or the Red Cross.

Helvetia as Part of the Roman Empire during the 3rd Century
From:  Wikipedia -- By:  Marco Zanoli
(Click on the image above for a full-sized map)

Most of the Pro Patria surtaxed stamps issued between 1972 and 1979 feature the themes of Archeology or Castles.

For the first four centuries of the Christian Era, what we know as Helvetia, up to the Southern side of the Rhine River, was the Northern Frontier of the Roman Empire.  This border was heavily fortified by the Romans.  There were major Roman cities, Roman military encampments, and also indigenous population settlements along the Rhine River of present-day Switzerland which have yielded an abundance of archeological artifacts and impressive Roman Imperial structures.

On the Northern side of the Rhine River were the tribal civilizations of Lower Germania.  The Roman legions spent hundreds of years trying to subjugate the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe, yet they failed.  In fact, it would be these same Germanic civilizations that would conquer the Western Roman Empire during the 6th Century.

The first four sets of Pro Patria Swiss stamps shown below feature some of the incredible archeological artifacts of Switzerland's early history.


The four archeology-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on June 1, 1972

Their designs are as follows:

  • 10 C. + 10 C. - Harpoon Heads, late Stone Age.
  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Bronze hydria, late Iron Age.
  • 30 C. + 10 C. - Gold bust of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Imperial Era.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Horseback rider ornament, early Middle Ages.


The four archeology-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 29, 1973

Their designs are as follows:

  • 15 C. + 05 C. - Gallic jug, late Celtic Period.
  • 30 C. + 10 C. - Bronze head of a Gaul, Roman Imperial Era.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Clothing fasteners (fibulae), 6th Century AD.
  • 60 C. + 20 C. - Gold bowl, 6th Century BC.


The four archeology-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 30, 1974

Their designs are as follows:

  • 15 C. + 05 C. - Polychrome glass bowl, 1st Century AD.
  • 30 C. + 10 C. - Bronze head of a bull, Roman Imperial Era.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Gold clothing fastener (fibula), 7th Century AD.
  • 60 C. + 20 C. - Ceramic bird, Bronze Age.


The four archeology-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 30, 1975

Their designs are as follows:

  • 15 C. + 10 C. - Gold clothing fastener (fibula), 6th Century AD.
  • 30 C. + 20 C. - Bronze head of Bacchus, 2nd Century AD.
  • 50 C. + 20 C. - Bronze daggers, 15th - 17th Century BC.
  • 60 C. + 25 C. - Polychrome glass bottle, 1st Century AD.


The four castles-themed Pro Patria Swiss stamps shown above were issued on May 28, 1976

Their designs are as follows:

  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Kyburg Castle, Canton Zurich.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Grandson Castle, Canton Waadt.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Murten Castle, Canton Freiburg.
  • 80 C. + 40 C. - Castello di Montebello, Canton Tessin.


The four castles-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 26, 1977

Their designs are as follows:

  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Aigle Castle, Canton Waadt.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Pratteln Castle, Canton Basel.
  • 70 C. + 30 C. - Sargans Castle, Canton St. Gallen.
  • 80 C. + 40 C. - Hallwil Castle, Canton Aargau.


The four castles-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 26, 1978

Their designs are as follows:

  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Hagenwil Castle, Canton Thurgau.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Burgdorf Castle, Canton Bern.
  • 70 C. + 30 C. - Tarasp Castle, Canton Graub√ľnden.
  • 80 C. + 40 C. - Chillon Castle, Canton Waadt.


The four castles-themed Pro Patria stamps shown above were issued on May 25, 1979

Their designs are as follows:

  • 20 C. + 10 C. - Oron Castle, Canton Waadt.
  • 40 C. + 20 C. - Spiez Castle, Canton Bern.
  • 70 C. + 30 C. - Pruntrut Castle, Canton Jura.
  • 80 C. + 40 C. - Rapperswil, Canton St. Gallen.








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