Comoros : 30th anniversary of ICAO

and 75th Anniversary of first engined-powered flight of Wright Brothers


Issue date: 31/07/1978


The following shows the sequence of over-printings from the two original stamps, which were overprinted twice.



Comoros stamps issued on 18 July 1976 for the first anniversary of the Archipel des Comores independence.

Friday mosque in Moroni, state flag, map of Comoros, and government buildings.



Above stamps were first overprinted on 24 July 1978 with three horizontal lines defacing the country name ETAT COMORIEN and replacing it with the four-line text République / Fédérale / et Islamique / des Comores, when the country changed name.




Above stamps were then overprinted on 31 July 1978 with the ICAO logo (for the 30th anniversary of the Organization). The stamps retained their denomination.


Same stamps as above with the selvage showing sideways imprint with the Wright Flyer I aircraft, corresponding to one of the subjects of this issue, i.e. the 75th anniversary of the triumph of the Wright Brothers, who made the first successful flight of a manned heavier-than-air vehicle on 17 December 1903.


First Day Cover postmarked 24 July 1978 (date of the second overprint), when the country changed name to République / Fédérale / et Islamique / des Comores. Note that this cover shows four stamps released at the same time: two overprinted, and two overprinted and surcharged.


Background: Due to the serious budgetary situation in Comoros during the years of this issue, the postal authorities of that country overprinted many prior issues to commemorate special events.

Some history of the Comoros Islands is reflected in this issue. After World War II, the islands became a French overseas territory. Agreement was reached with France in 1973 for Comoros to become independent in 1978. On 6 July 1975, however, the Comorian Parliament passed a resolution declaring unilateral independence and became a republic under the name of État Comorien and later (beginning of 1978) République des Comores. Unstable Comoros has endured many coups or attempted coups since gaining independence. The government changed in May 1978 and restored Islam as the state religion, while acknowledging the rights of those who did not observe the Muslim faith. The new constitution was approved on 1 October 1978, creating the République Fédérale Islamique des Comores. However, the stamps were overprinted with République / Fédérale / et Islamique / des Comores and surcharged (40Fr. and 100Fr.) on 24 July 1978, and later overprinted again (between 25 July and 7 August 1978) to commemorate special events, such as the 75th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ triumph. Of interest to this story is that the temporary country name used on stamps in July 1978 did not correspond to the name approved on 1 October of that year (i.e. République Fédérale Islamique des Comores).