04 January 2021
20 May 2021
TBA (minisheet of 4 domestic stamps)
12 August 2021
C.Z. Slania (minisheet of 2 stamps)
16 September 2021
TBA (5 domestic stamps)
Post Danmark A/S or PostNord Denmark is the company responsible for the Danish postal service. Established in 1995 following political liberalization efforts, it has taken over the mail delivery duties of the governmental department Postvæsenet (established in 1624); it was turned into a public limited company in 2002. In 2005, 22% of the company shares were sold to CVC Capital Partners, 3.5% of the company shares were partly sold to employees at a discount, partly kept in reserve for a management incentives program.
As of 2007, Post Danmark employed about 21,000 people, and delivers approximately a billion letters and 37 million parcels every year. Post Danmark has a wide variety of services, such as express deliveries (ensured delivery by no later than 9am the following morning), courier services, facility services, 10 o’clock service (ensured delivery no later than 10am every day), Electronic mailbox (mail getting scanned electronically and sent to you by email instead of regular post).
Denmark’s postal history began with an ordinance of 24 December 1624 by King Christian IV, establishing a national postal service . This service consisted of nine main routes, and was to be operated by the mayor of Copenhagen and several guilds. Initially the mail was carried by foot, with riders being used after 1640.
The service was turned over to a Paul Klingenberg on 16 July 1653, who introduced a number of innovations, including mail coaches able to carry parcels, and service to Norway. He ran the service until 14 March 1685, when he handed it over to Count Christian Gyldenløve, an eleven-year-old son of King Christian V. The Gyldenløve family continued in control until 1711; in 1694 new routes and rates were established. The state took over control in 1711.
The first steamship carrying mail was the SS Caledonia, which began carrying mail between Copenhagen and Kiel on 1 July 1819.
The first postage stamps were introduced on 1 April 1851, by a law passed on 11 March. The first value was a four (Fire) rigsbankskilling stamp printed in brown, a square design with a crown, sword, and sceptre in the center. This was followed on 1 May by a 2rbs value in blue using the denomination as the design. Both stamps were typographed, watermarked (with a crown), and imperforate, and distinctive for having a yellow-brown burelage printed on top of the design. The 2rbs prepaid the local postage rate in København, while the 4rbs was the national rate. Four rbs stamps were introduced on 1 May 1851 for use in the Duchy of Slesvig.
The design and first printings were made by M. W. Ferslew, but he died and the subsequent printing was by H. H. Thiele, whose firm printed Denmark’s stamps for the next 80 years.
Few of the 2rbs values were printed, and today copies are priced at around 3,000 US$ unused and $1,000 used. The 4rbs was more common, with unused at $700 and used copies at just $40.
In 1854 the currency was renamed to just “skilling” and “rigsdaler”, and new stamps were printed, still square and using the coat of arms, but with the new currency names, and the inscriptions abbreviated so that they could be read as either Danish or German (“FRM” instead of “FRIMAERKE” for instance). Values of 2s, 4s, 8s, and 16s were issued at various times from 1854 to 1857. In 1858 the dotted pattern in the background was replaced with wavy lines, in 1863 a larger crown was used in the watermark and the stamps were rouletted.
Along with postage stamps, the use of numeral cancellations was adopted, consisting of a number with several concentric circles, each number corresponding to a particular post office. “1” was Copenhagen, “2” the office in Hamburg, “5” Aarhus, and so forth.
The Second War of Schleswig in 1864 was a traumatic loss for Denmark, and immediately after it a new issue of stamps featured the traditional symbols of royalty more prominently than the previous issues. Values of 2s, 3s, 4s, 8s, and 16s came out between May 1864 and 1868. These were the first Danish stamps to be perforated.
In 1870 the first of the long-running “numeral” issue appeared. The design was an oval with the denomination in large numerals in the center, surrounded by an ornate frame in a different color. The frame is very nearly symmetric, but not entirely, and the sharp-eyed can identify the stamps with inverted frames. Some of the inverts are quite common, the employees at the printing plant presumably also having difficulties knowing which way was up.
In 1873, the currency was changed to the decimal kroner, which necessitated new stamps. The perforation spacing was changed in 1895, and the watermark in 1902.
In 1904, King Christian IX became the first king of Denmark to be depicted on a stamp.
In the following year, a new type of numeral design appeared for the lower values – denomination in an oval with three wavy lines on each side, representing the three waters separating the largest Danish islands. This design proved so popular that variations on it remained in use as of 2003.
In 1907, the Christian IX design was updated with a portrait of the new King, Frederick VIII.
In 1912, several types of stamps were surcharged to 35 øre. In the same year, Denmark’s first pictorial stamp was a 5-kroner issue depicting the Copenhagen General Post Office.
King Christian X appeared in profile between 1913 and 1928, in a long-lived series that featured a number of color and value changes.
In 1918, a need for 27 øre value resulted in surcharges on newspaper stamps, some of which are scarce, with prices today of up to US $200.
On 5 October 1920, Denmark’s first commemorative stamps, a set of three pictorials, marked the reunion of northern Schleswig with Denmark following a plebiscite. 1924 saw commemoratives for the 300th anniversary of the postal service, and in 1926 the original two designs were adapted for an issue noting the 75th anniversary of their introduction.
In 1927 a set of six stamps depicted a caravel, modeled after an old engraving. The 1927 set was typographed; from 1933 to 1940 the design was reissued with the use of engraving instead. The engraved design was soon changed to reduce the left-side margin, with the “Type IIs” having only one column of squares between sail and frame line, where the “Type Is” have two columns. (Both types are common today, except for the type I 25o blue.)
During World War II, Germany occupied Denmark, but the stamp program gives no evidence of that. A new series depicted Christian X full-face instead of in profile, and continued in use after the war. However mail was subject to German postal censorship.
In 1946, a new design appeared for high values; the three lions of the state seal. Like the wavy lines design, this design remained in regular use for the highest denominations into the 1990s.
In 1976 Denmark handed over responsibility for the postal service in the Faroe Islands to Postverk Føroya.
The modern stamp program of Denmark tends to use relatively small stamps produced using engraving. While the quality is high, engraving limits the range of colors available, and so the use of lithography has been creeping into issues, often in addition to engraving. The number of issued stamps has gradually climbed, from 5-10 per year in the 1960s, to around 20 annually in the 1990s, with several thematic sets (usually of four stamps each) per year.
Kingdom of Denmark
The Kingdom of Denmark (Danish: Kongeriget Danmark) is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand, Funen and the North Jutlandic Island. The islands are characterized by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and is bordered to the south by Germany. The Kingdom of Denmark is constitutionally a unitary state comprising Denmark proper and the two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark has a total area of 42,943 km² (16,580 square miles) as of 2020, and the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km² (853,509 square miles). Denmark proper has a population of 5.83 million (as of 2020).
The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 8th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523. The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until 1814, Denmark–Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the First Schleswig War. After the Second Schleswig War in 1864, Denmark lost the Duchy of Schleswig to Prussia. Denmark remained neutral during World War I; however, in 1920 the northern half of Schleswig became Danish again. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialized exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labor-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a highly developed mixed economy.
The Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660. It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation’s capital, largest city, and main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, but negotiated certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone.
A developed country, Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and LGBT equality. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area. Denmark also has close ties to its Scandinavian neighbors linguistically, with the Danish language being partially mutually intelligible with both Norwegian and Swedish.
The flag of Denmark (Danish: Dannebrog) is red with a white Scandinavian cross that extends to the edges of the flag; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side.
A banner with a white-on-red cross is attested as having been used by the kings of Denmark since the 14th century. An origin legend with considerable impact on Danish national historiography connects the introduction of the flag to the Battle of Lindanise of 1219. The elongated Nordic cross reflects the use as a maritime flag in the 18th century. The flag became popular as a national flag in the early 16th century. Its private use was outlawed in 1834, and again permitted in a regulation of 1854. The flag holds the world record of being the oldest continuously used national flag.
In 1748, a regulation defined the correct lengths of the two last fields in the flag as 6⁄4. In May 1893 a new regulation to all chiefs of police, stated that the police should not intervene, if the two last fields in the flag were longer than 6⁄4 as long as these did not exceed 7⁄4, and provided that this was the only rule violated. This regulation is still in effect today and thus the legal proportions of the National flag is today 3:1:3 in width and anywhere between 3:1:4.5 and 3:1:5.25 in length.
No official definition of “Dannebrog rød” exists. The private company Dansk Standard, regulation number 359 (2005), defines the red colour of the flag as Pantone 186c.
The coat of arms of Denmark (Danish: Danmarks rigsvåben) has a lesser and a greater version.
The state coat of arms (rigsvåben) consists of three pale blue lions passant wearing crowns, accompanied by nine red lilypads (normally represented as heraldic hearts), all in a golden shield with the royal crown on top.
The national coat of arms of Denmark (nationalvåben — also called lille våben) is similar to the state coat of arms, but without the royal crown above the shield.
It is historically the coat of arms of the House of Estridsen, the dynasty which provided the kings of Denmark between 1047 and 1412. The current design was introduced in 1819, under Frederick VI. Previously, there had been no distinction between the “national” and the “royal” coat of arms. Since 1819, there has been a more complex royal coat of arms of Denmark (kongevåben) separate from the national coat of arms (rigsvåben).
Greater (Royal) Coat of Arms