Flemish Legion Stamps and Postal History

    Postal History

    During late May 1941, free postal privileges for mail weighing up to 250gms, were given to Belgian nationals while serving in the German armed forces. A fee of 3 Francs was charged in Belgium for mail weighing 250 to 1000gms. A 20Rpf for mail posted by Germans nationals.

    The Belgian government issued a number of Propaganda labels for the Flemish Legion. They are as follows:
    On 23 December 1941, the Brussels firm of De Reume printed four miniature souvenir sheets with four labels each, shown below. Each label shows a symbolic propaganda representation between the medieval Flemish Knights and the Legionnaires. Each label also bears the Legion emblem with the inscription reading "Volunteer Legion Flanders/Military Mail/Eastern Front/1941." The labels have a surtax value of 50 Francs each. The proceeds were used to benefit the Legionnaires or family members. A total of 30,000 sets was issued.

    Flemish Legion Stamps

    The same Flemish designs were reissued in 1943. They are overprinted with German planes flying in different directions and the year 1943, printed in a different typed face. The colors of the overprints are green, red, blue and orange. About 920 miniature sheets or 3680 sets were overprinted.

    Flemish Legion Stamps

    On 9 August 1943 six miniature sheets of four were printed in serial numbered identifying the following emperors and an empress of the Teutonic Holy Roman Empire and Hapsburg Dynasty:
    5 Francs - Blue-green - Otto the Great
    10 Francs - Orange-red - Joseph II of Austria
    15 Francs - Black-brown - Maria Theresia of Austria
    20 Francs - Lilac-pink - Maximilian of Austria
    50 Francs - Orange-brown - Charlemagne
    100 Francs - Blue - Charles V
    Each label has either shields with crests of the monarchs depicted or shields inscribed "Wapen SS." All labels bear the inscription "SS Feldpost," and the names of the rulers are printed in Flemish and German. A total of 30,000 complete sets, were issued. They illustrate a facet of SS ideology, an interest of many SS leaders in medieval history, especially in the low countries.

    Flemish Waffen-SS Stamps

    In 1944 a set of 4 miniature sheets illustrating Flemish Waffen-SS in military scenes were printed in horz. format, perf. and imperf. These labels are inscribed "SS FELDPOST /Wapen SS," all bearing values from 10 Francs to 100 Francs.

    These issues were prepared for sale but never issued. Only 6000 perforated and 1200 imperforate sets were printed.


    Langemarck

    In late 1944, the 50Franc Waffen-SS label was issued with overprinted "LANGEMARK" in red. This issue commemorated the Assault Brigade Langemark. This unissued label was the last to be printed. A total of 3600 labels were overprinted.

    The Flemish Legion labels issued from 1941 to 1943 were used extensively on canceled to order philatelic covers and on propaganda postcards. There exist many varieties in imperf., inverted overprints, etc.

    Flemish Feldpost labels were used with FPN 07515, which was the mailing address of the SS-Flemish recruiting headquarters in Brussel.

    The following feldpost numbers were assigned to the SS Flemish recruiting offices:
    FPN 07515 - Sammelfeldpostnummer Brussels
    FPN 07515 AP - SS-Abschnitt Flandern
    FPN 07515 CA - Ersatz-kommando der WSS Flandern
    FPN 07515 CN - Führsorge-offizier der WSS in Flandern und Wallonien
    FPN 09425 - Sammelfeldpostnummer Antwerpen.
    Many propaganda, recruiting postcards were printed for Flemish volunteers. In addition there is another set of four labels, issued to aid Belgian POWs in Germany. These bilingual stamps have the inscription "BELGIQUE-BELGIE/POUR NOS PRISONNIERS DE GUERRE/VOOR ONZE KRIJGSGEVANGENEN." Three labels have 5 Franc values and one with 10 Franc.

    Flemish Legion Covers

    Flemish Postal Covers

    Flemish Legion Postal Covers

    The cover shown on top was prepared by family member or collector from Flanders. The cover contains the complete set of four different charity labels addressed to designated SS-recruiting station at FPN 07515AP. The cover was placed inside a SASE with a payment of 200 Francs and was sent to the "VLAAMISCHE VOORZORGSCOMTIG" (Flemish Charity Committee), Laken- weversstraat 1, Brussels. The cover has been censored, the back shows a SS sealing tape to cover up the open slit were contents were removed. The sale of these charity labels were only available for a limited time, usually for one month. Below is another postal cover showing four different labels with the "airplane and 1943" overprints. This cover went through the German Feldpost system uncensored, probably because it was sent to a soldier. It was mailed on November 1943 to Feldpost No. 12428 (36th Pz-Gren Division).

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