Rhodesia

 

Map of RhodesiaFlag of Rhodesia 1965-1968

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flag of Rhodesia (1968-1979)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The election of the Nationalist Party in South Africa in 1948 should have been a warning to the white settlers of Rhodesia. Despite deep sympathies of the white settlers for the racist policies of South Africa, the withdrawal of South Africa from the Commonwealth in 1961 would leave the humanitarian spotlight uncomfortably on the racist policies of Rhodesia. Previously, they could hide behind the even worse policies of their neighbour to the south. Now, they had nobody to hide behind. African nations who had recently received their independence from the British demanded that something be done about the racism of Rhodesia. The British felt morally compelled to back these claims and instituted its 'No Independence Before Majority African Rule' (NIBMAR) policy. They had been embarrassed by what happened in South Africa and did not want a repeat of that performance in Rhodesia.

 

The Rhodesian whites however took the initiative hoping to prevent the sharing of power with its black population. On remembrance day, 1965, the white administration declared its Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI).

 

International condemnation was swift, backed principally by Britain. Britain organised the first ever United Nations use of sanctions against its renegade colony. The relatively rich colony could survive these sanctions for a while, as long as the racist South African government was able to provide support. However, over time, the sanctions did have an impact. It was possible for the Rhodesians to get around but usually at a very high premium. Not a single member of the UN was willing to recognise Rhodesia. Not even South Africa which did not want to heap yet more opprobrium on itself. Besides, it made a change for South Africa to not be regarded as the ultimate pariah state in Africa.

 

The black Africans appreciated the international support for their plight and started an insurrection of their own. This insurrection did get complicated by the politics of the Cold War when Communists vied with Nationalists to fight against the white government. Surrounding black African countries also gave military and logistical support to those fighting the regime. Although there were no large pitch battles, the constant guerilla and hit and run tactics steadily wore down the resolve of some of the white settlers. When going to the shops became a dangerous chore, many Rhodesian whites called it quits. Some Rhodesian whites emigrated south to the more secure South Africa, others returned to Britain or went on to Australia or Canada. Many settlers remained behind but usually it was the menfolk. It was becoming a difficult place to raise a family.

 

The South Africans began withdrawing their support for the regime in the late 1970s. The South African Boers had never completely reconciled themselves to helping the English speaking Rhodesians. Although probably it was more likely that the war in Rhodesia was destabilising the entire region and was leading to black Africans in South Africa to look to the struggle in Rhodesia for inspiration. The South African whites hoped that by abandoning Rhodesia to its fate, it would be left alone to pursue its own racist policies in a more peaceful Southern Africa.

 

The shooting down of a commercial airliner by a guerrilla surface to air missile and the destruction of the oil reserves in Salisbury in 1978 rammed home the hopelessness of UDI. The British Government issued invitations to all parties to attend a peace conference at Lancaster House. These negotiations took place in London in late 1979. The three-month-long conference almost failed to reach conclusion, due to disagreements on Land reform, but resulted in the Lancaster House Agreement. UDI ended, and Rhodesia reverted to the status of a British colony. A year later, the British handed independence to a black majority government.

 

 

Capital:                      Salisbury

Government:              British self-governing colony (1964-1965)

                                 Sovereign Dominion (1965-1970)

                                 Republic (1970-1979)

Area:                         350.580 km˛

Population:                 6.930.000 (1978)

Currency:                   Rhodesian pound (20 shillings, 1 shilling = 12 pence) (1964-1970) / Rhodesian dollar (100 cents)

Dialling code:             +263

 

 

For more stamps see:

Southern Rhodesia

Zimbabwe

 

 

 

Links

 

Rhodesia in Wikipedia.

Flag of Rhodesia (1964-1968) in Flags of the World.

Flag of Rhodesia (1968-1979) in Flags of the World.

 

 

 

Stamp catalogue

 

ITU Centenary

date:                  17 May 1965

designer:            Victor Whiteley

printer:               Harrison & Sons, London

perforated:         14˝

 

1     6 d               ITU emblem, telegraph pole and antennae (common design), text "INTERNATIONAL /

                          TELECOMMUNICATION / UNION CENTENARY / 1865 1965"

                          violet, olive

                          (cat. Michel 1/SG 351/Yvert 107)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

2     1/ 3 d          ITU emblem, telegraph pole and antennae (common design), text "INTERNATIONAL /

                          TELECOMMUNICATION / UNION CENTENARY / 1865 1965"

                          violet, lilac

                          (cat. Michel 2/SG 352/Yvert 108)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

3     2/ 6 d          ITU emblem, telegraph pole and antennae (common design), text "INTERNATIONAL /

                          TELECOMMUNICATION / UNION CENTENARY / 1865 1965"

                          violet, brown

                          (cat. Michel 3/SG 353/Yvert 109)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

 

WMO Centenary

date:                  2 July 1973

designer:            S.J. Ivey

printer:               Mardon Printers, Salisbury

perforated:         14˝

 

4     3 CENTS       WMO jubilee emblem, text "IMO-WMO / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 132/SG 481/Yvert 226)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

5     14 CENTS     WMO jubilee emblem, text "IMO-WMO / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 133/SG 482/Yvert 227)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

6     25 CENTS     WMO jubilee emblem, text "IMO-WMO / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 134/SG 483/Yvert 228)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

 

UPU Centenary

date:                  20 November 1974

designer:            M. Chase

printer:               Mardon Printers, Salisbury

perforated:         14˝:14

 

7     3 C              postman emptying a mail box, UPU emblem, text "UPU / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 155/SG 509/Yvert 249)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

8     4 C              postman sorting mail, UPU emblem, text "UPU / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 156/SG 510/Yvert 250)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

9     7˝ C            postman delivering mail, UPU emblem, text "UPU / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 157/SG 511/Yvert 251)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

10    14 C             post woman weighing a parcel, UPU emblem, text "UPU / CENTENARY"

                          multicoloured

                          (cat. Michel 158/SG 512/Yvert 252)

 

Rhodesia - stamp as described above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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last revised: 24 October 2008