27 February 2021
Algérie Poste (“Algerian Post”; Arabic: بريد الجزائر) is the state-owned company responsible for postal service in Algeria. It is headquartered in Bab Ezzouar, Algiers.
The beginning date for postal history in Algeria is unclear, but letters sent by Europeans in Algiers go back to 1690. Oran was controlled by Spain during much of the 18th century, and a postal marking is known from 1749.
Regular postal service came in with the French rule in Algeria, initially as a military post established in 1830 in Algiers, which was then opened to civilians in 1835, but still using military handstamps until 1839, after which datestamps with town names became standard. The service expanded into the interior along with French control, with 295 post offices in operation by 1880.
Algerian mail used stamps of France beginning 1 January 1849. Early cancellations were a simple grill similar to French usage, but after 1852 the service switched to a lozenge of dots surrounding a number identifying the post office.
Beginning in 1924, French stamps were overprinted “ALGÉRIE”, eventually to total some 32 types over the next few years. These were superseded in 1926 by the first stamps inscribed for Algeria, the series consisting of four typographed designs showing local scenes, and ultimately consisting of 35 types, ranging from 1 centime to 20 francs. Algeria’s first commemorative stamp, a 10-franc value depicting the Bay of Algiers, marked the 100th anniversary of French control. A new definitive series in 1936 again depicted local scenery, using eight engraved designs for 31 values.
In 1942, a photolithographed set featured the arms of Algerian cities, and was issued both with and without the engraver’s name in the lower left margin. Following the liberation of France, stamps were issued depicting Marianne and the Gallic cock, in designs similar to French stamps; in addition, the old “ALGÉRIE” overprint was revived and applied to French stamps until 1947.
In 1947, a new set of 16 definitives also featured city coats of arms, and remained in use throughout the 1950s, along with a handful of commemoratives. Algeria reverted to the use of French stamps between 1958 and 1962.
Independent Algeria started its own stamp programme on 2 July 1962, with locally applied overprints reading “EA” on stocks of French stamps. These overprints exist in a wide variety of colors and typefaces. These continued in use until 31 October 1962, and were superseded the following day by a set of five designs showing local scenes, and inscribed “REPUBLIQUE ALGERIENNE” in both French and Arabic (the first appearance of Arabic on Algerian stamps).
Algeria’s definitive series since independence include a set showing occupations in 1964, a depiction of Abd-el-Kader in 1967, and multiple issues showing local views starting in 1982.
French postal stationery envelopes, newspaper wrappers, letter cards and postcards were also overprinted “ALGÉRIE” and issued in 1924. These were followed by postal stationery printed for Algeria in 1927. Envelopes, newspaper wrappers and lettercards were discontinued in the early 1940s.
When Algeria became an independent republic in 1962 the only item of postal stationery to be issued was a postcard. Subsequently, in 1976 Algeria issued aerogrammes.
Algerian Post: Website
People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية
al-Jumhūriyya al-Jazāʾiriyya ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyya aš-Šaʿbiyya
République algérienne démocratique et populaire
The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria (الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, al-Jumhūriyya al-Jazāʾiriyya ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyya aš-Šaʿbiyya, République algérienne démocratique et populaire) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 square miles), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest by area in the African Union and the Arab world. With an estimated population of over 44 million, it is the ninth-most populous country in Africa.
Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the southeast by Niger, to the southwest by Mali, Mauritania, and the Western Saharan territory, to the west by Morocco, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The country has a semi-arid geography, with most of the population living in the fertile north and the Sahara dominating the geography of the south. This arid geography makes the country very vulnerable to climate change.
Pre-1962 Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Rustamid, Idrisid, Aghlabids, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Zayyanids, Spaniards, Ottomans and finally, the French colonial empire. Most of the population is Arab-Berber, practicing Islam and using the official languages of Arabic and Berber. However, French serves as an administrative and education language in some contexts, and Algerian Arabic is the main spoken language.
Algeria has a semi-presidential republic, with local constituencies consisting of 58 provinces and 1,541 communes. Algeria is a regional and middle power. It has the highest Human Development Index of all non-island African countries and one of the largest economies on the continent, based largely on energy exports. Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the ninth largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa, supplying large amounts of natural gas to Europe. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defense budget. It is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations, and the Arab Maghreb Union, of which it is a founding member.
The national flag of Algeria (Arabic: علم الجزائر, ʿalam al-jazāʾir) consists of two equal vertical bars, green and white, charged in the center with a red star and crescent, a symbol of Islam as the nation’s prominent faith. The flag was adopted on 3 July 1962. A similar version was used by the Algerian government in exile from 1958 to 1962. The Western blazon is per pale vert and argent; a crescent and star gules.
The Barbary pirates of Ottoman Algeria between the 15th and 17th century widely used flags that were emblazoned with one or more crescents. These could however vary greatly in color, with dark red, black, green and white being in use. Besides these, Algerian pirates also used various flags in plain color, such as plain black ones signaling death. Less often, Algerian flags of this time also carried other motifs, such as suns, stars and crossed swords. It is also known that city of Algiers used an orange flag with a white horizontal sword on it by the early 19th century.
Émilie Busquant is perhaps best known as the creator of the current Algerian flag. While there is some dispute over who exactly designed green and white with red star and crescent symbol, Busquant is generally credited as having sewed the first version of the flag in 1934.
Algerian ships fly it as their ensign, except for ships of the Algerian National Navy, which use one charged with two white crossed anchors in the canton as the naval ensign. Formerly, the two crossed anchors in the canton were red.
According to algeria-un.org, cited in 1999, the features of the flag are set down precisely, being described as:
The green must be a composition of equal yellow and blue having, according to the diagram of contrasts of Rood, a wavelength of 5,411 [ångströms] and the position 600 on the normal spectrum. The red must be pure, of primary non-decomposable colour, and exempt of blue and yellow having, according to the above-indicated diagram, a wavelength of 6,562 [ångströms] and the position 285 on the normal spectrum.
The national emblem of Algeria (Arabic: الشعار الوطني الجزائري) is the seal used by the government, as other states use coats of arms.
The current form of the emblem with Arabic writing was adopted on 1 November 1976, but was only differentiated from previous one by the changing of the motto from French to Arabic. Contained on the emblem is the crescent that is also found on the flag of Algeria, and is a symbol of Islam. The text that encircles the emblem says in Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية (“The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria”, the country’s official name).
The hand of Fatima, a traditional symbol of the region, appears in front of the Atlas Mountains, below a rising sun representing a new era. Buildings stand for industry and plants for agriculture.
A full description of the coat of arms:
At the top, the sun rising over a mountain, In the center, a skilled goldsmith symmetrical about the major, the three central fingers together, the two ends of the fingers ended in beak of a dove carrying an olive branch. At the bottom, the crescent and star. Right, the ballot box topped with three ears differentiated and oak leaves and left an olive branch with fruit, layered and topped with a palm roof and smokestacks and oil drilling derricks and form of an outside circumference with an inscription in Arabic.