In 1938 Austria was annexed to the German Reich (Anschluss), and at
the end of World War II the country was divided into occupation zones
by the three major allied powers, the United States, Great Britain and
Russia. On May 15, 1955 the Austrian State Treaty was signed which
provided that all occupation forces would be withdrawn by October 25,
The day before Austria became free and independent for
the first time since 1938, she issued a stamp celebrating the tenth
anniversary of the United Nations. The stamp features a globe with a
belt of flags around it. There is a question mark on a flag on the
left of that blet of flags, symbolizing Austria's desire the join the
The globe is a polar stereographic projection
of the northern hemisphere. The northern coastline of the U.S.S.R. is
poorly drawn, the Scandinavian penninsula is difficult to recognize.
Hudson Bay is much too small, Baha California, Newfoundland and Nova
Scotia seem to be missing, and it appears as though South America has
acquired a northern projection east of Mexico. The western portion of
the globe is too dark to be sure, but it looks like there are problems
there as well.
The characterization by Irvine and Seshold, Errors in
Postage Stamp Design, London, 1979, p. 81, as showing "land and
water quite arbitrarily distributed," is accurate.