Blue Cross and the fight against alcohol on stamps:


Since I have been working in Blue Cross for some years, it was natural to collect stamps that somehow reflected this kind of work.  But I have not been collecting systematically, and I don't have too many of these stamps and labels.  Here is what I have so far:


Denmark 1920's


In the 1920s and 1930s, abstinence was not such a bad idea for quite many people in Scandinavia and some other European countries.  This sticker from Denmark - probably from the 1920s - wants "Denmark free from alcohol".  That would have been good...

This Danish label, saying "Help for alcohol patients", would be difficult to issue today.  It portrays alcoholics as shipwrecked people (which they of course often are) and down-trodden in poverty (which they of course also often are...).  The right label also portrays alcohol patients before and after rehabilitation.  And even though we might not think exactly the same way today, the message is still very clear: Alcohol is a slave master that keeps you down in poverty and misery. (click on the picture to see a larger version of it)






Greenland is a society that has suffered enormously from the effects of alcohol.

These labels from Greenland are inscribed both in the local language and Danish.  They are meant to send a message that drinking is definitely not something to be desired.

Down right for example, we find the message "Drunk and foolish".




Different labels, but same series.  Upper right label has a strong question: "What about the children?"  We know that even small amounts of alcohol makes people change.  Children are the first to notice...  And many of them get scared!  The down right has the message "Today I want to be sober".  Not a bad idea...




Greenland 1991


Not many countries have honoured Blue Cross on stamps, but Greenland has!  In 1991 they commemorated 75 years of Blue Cross work at the island.


France 1912


This label from France cancelled 1912 would not be accepted today!  But in the first part of the 1900's the war against alcohol was much more accepted than today.  The label consist of an ordinary stamp fixed on a frame, and reads:

Up: War against alcohol!

Left: Alcohol kills!

Right: Alcohol stupefies you!

Down: Absinth makes you a fool!


Although we might choose different words today, the message is still valid: Alcohol does kill, alcohol does stupefy and makes fools out of people....





Tanzania 1986


This miniature sheet from Tanzania 1986 (SG MS488) has not directly to do with Blue Cross, but presents a text which has: "Child Survival and Development".  We know that even a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy can cause irreversible damage to the child.  Therefore, all pregnant women are strongly advised not to drink during this period.

For us who work in Africa, we see examples of just too many cases of the opposite.  Very many women DO drink during pregnancy, thus having children with various birth defects.  This is tragic as it so easily could be avoided.

Which brings us to my dream situation that will never come through due to the utterly egoistic nature of human beings: A society totally rid of alcohol and drugs.  In fact, nobody can argue with this fact: If there were no alcohol and drugs, no alcohol or drug related diseases, broken homes, traffic accidents, rapes, incest, death and so on would exist due to alcohol and drugs.  Some of these things would still exist, yes, but drastically reduced.  So why are human beings not willing to ban the most damaging poison there is?  Well, I said it above: Due to the utterly egoistic nature of human beings.  Problem is, most people will not admit that this is the cause, but excuse themselves that they are not the ones bringing the problems...  Seems like we have to live with the poison, but at least let us do our best so that the children will not be harmed in any way!



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