Uruguay : 40th Anniversary of ICAO


Issue date: 05/07/1985



Icarus (by Hans Erni); ICAO emblem.

Watermarked paper: inverted ROU (Republica Oriental del Uruguay) within a sun. The official country name Republica Oriental del Uruguay indicates that the country lies east of the Uruguay River.




Variety with plate shift. The lower-left part of the design is misaligned with the rest of the design.

Correct alignment

Plate shift



Block of 4 stamps with plate shift.

Sequential number.

Watermarks are noticeable.

Imperforated corner block of four stamps, with light blue and olive colours missing. An extremely rare specimen print of the steel blue plate.


First Day Covers (FDC). The ICAO emblem shown on the postmark is incomplete and is a reproduction of the one depicted on the stamp.

R.O.U. means República Oriental del Uruguay; the Oriental Republic of Uruguay is named after its geographic location to the east of the Uruguay River. As for the word Uruguay, it comes from the Guarani language, meaning river where the painted birds live.


Official FDC with the Coat of Arms on the contours of the country.


Private issue by the Club Filatelico del Uruguay . The cachet reproduces Uruguay’s first Diligencia stamp.

Uruguay - Diligencia stamp issued in 1856

The first stamps issued in Uruguay were ordered by the Administrator General of Posts, Atanasio Lapido, who also happened to be in charge of the stage coach service. They could be considered as a private issue, but must have had official status. The inscription "Diligencia" means "Stage coach" and indicates the means of transporting of the mail. They were only valid for mail within Uruguay. Picturing a radiant sun, the 60-centavos blue stamp shown here was used for single-page letters. The postal services organized by the stagecoach companies started issuing stamps on 1 October 1856.






Background: The Coat of Arms of Uruguay was first adopted by law on 19 March 1829. It consists of an oval, which is divided into four equal sections and crowned by a rising golden sun, the Sun of May, symbolizing the rising of the Uruguayan nation. The oval is surrounded by two olive branches, representing peace, joined at the bottom by a blue ribbon.

In the upper left quarter, there is a scale, symbol of equality and justice, set on a blue background. The upper right quarter contains the Cerro de Montevideo (Montevideo Hill) with its fortress on the summit, which represents strength, on a silver background. In the lower left, also on a silver background, there is a galloping horse, symbolizing liberty. The lower right quarter holds an ox, which is a symbol of abundance, on a blue background.


Note this stamp was reproduced on the miniature sheet issued by Uruguay on 6 May 1994 for the 17th Winter Olympics Medal Winners in Lillehammer, the 85th Anniversary of Hans Erni, and the 1994 International Stamp Exhibition Patronized by FISA. See at the following link: 85th Anniversary of Hans Erni.