THE NAME OF THE COUNTRY
AS IT APPEARS ON ITS STAMPS
Quite often people ask questions about the name of Romania, especially because it appears differently, depending of the period when the stamps were issued. This is possible the first attempt in the philatelic literature to give a full explanation of the different modes in which this country's name was written, with some explanations why the name apparently changed.
The Romanian people names its country Romānia, with the emphasis on the "i".
Please note the circumflex accent on the "a". This vowel doesn't exist in
English, but is very used in Russian (written as "y" in English) and Turkish
languages. Try to read it as the second "e" in the English word "yesterday".
In English the name of the country is either Romania or Rumania. I prefer the first version, because it is closer to the name of the country in Romanian, and also to its origin (Roma, the capital of Italy, in Italian). In older stamp catalogues (like Stanley Gibbons) the name of the country appears sometimes as Roumania. Roumanie is the name of the country in French, Rumynia in Russian, Rumänien in German.
On the Romania stamps the name of the country appears in the following forms:
ROMANIA or ROMANIA POSTA. Often as ROMĀNIA, which is the correctly written form
POSTA ROMANA, more correctly written POSTA ROMĀNA, means Romanian Post. Absolutely correctly it should be written POŞTA ROMĀNĂ, but probably the Romanian characters won't be correctly displayed by your browser.
POSTA ROMINA, more correctly written POSTA ROMĪNA, means the same thing, and is written using an orthography that was introduced by the communist regime. Absolutely correctly it should be written POŞTA ROMĪNĂ, but probably the Romanian characters won't be correctly displayed.
REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMANA, sometimes abbreviated to R.P. ROMANA. Better: R.P. ROMĀNA. Correctly: REPUBLICA POPULARĂ ROMĀNĂ.
The different forms, mentioned above, appear through the history of Rumanian stamps. In the following table I will try to show which form was used and when. Then under the table I'll try to explain also why the name changed. Please note that the names weren't used very consistently in time.
Period of Time
|January 9/21, 1865
February 15/27, 1872
July 1880 to October 14, 1889
|October 1/13, 1872
November 10, 1947 (*)
|ROMĀNIA or ROMĀNIA POSTA
|January 25, 1948
April 15, 1954
|REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMĀNA
or R.P. ROMĀNA
|Mai 26, 1954
March 25, 1964
|REPUBLICA POPULARA ROMĪNA
or R.P. ROMĪNA
|April 25, 1964
April, 1996 (**) (***)
(*) The issue Aug. 1934, Carol II, appeared without POSTA
(**) On the stamps Joint Issue Romania - Yugoslavia, Apr. 30, 1965 is written: ROMANIA POSTA (but not on the sheet)
(***) For several months, in 1996, the stamps appeared alternatively with POSTA ROMĀNA and ROMĀNIA.
About the changes
The most important change on Romanian stamp happened on January 25, 1948, after the Romanian King, Mihai of Hohenzollern, was obliged to abdicate, and Romania became a republic. The first stamp of the newly created republic was dedicated to census.
Another change happened on May 26, 1954, when the name of the country was changed to ROMĪNIA, this due to the change of the Romanian orthography.
In 1964 the ruling communists, transformed in national-communists, reverted the orthography of country's name back to ROMANIA. Just to notice that all these were pure orthographical changes, because the pronunciation never changed.
Some tried to explain the change of May 26, 1954 by the fact that Stalin, the USSR dictator, forced Romania to change the rules to make the language more Slavic in form, although a few exceptions, such as "Romānia", were allowed to survive. The i-form of "Romīnia" would not look very good. [The Rough Guide to Romania, by Rough Guides (Editor), Tim Burford, Norm Longley (Contributor), Dan Richardson].
Stalin died April 30, 1953. It's about a year after his death that his true
followers changed the orthography, so that country's name changed
accordingly, to ROMINIA. It wasn't more Slavic than earlier, but, and this
was important, it was more distant from ROMA, Italy's capital. That meant
more distant from the Western Civilization, from the
Dacs and the Romans,
etc., etc. So that actually the orthography of the name of the country wasn't allowed to survive either.
The theory that it's under Stalin's pressure only that the orthography and the name of the country were changed, was pushed by the Romanian communist rulers (those who earlier executed Stalin's orders), in order to look better in the eyes of their own population. We see here how Western sources have accepted the propaganda of the Romanian Communist Party without the necessary caution.