The Sarawak Specialists' Society

Philatelic and Postal History of Sarawak

Sarawak Flag 1848-1870     Sarawak Flag 1870-1946 and 1963-1973     Sarawak Flag 1946-1963

Sarawak Flag 1973-1988     Sarawak Flag 1988 to date
Flags of the World by Digibel

11th August 1839James Brooke first arrived in Sarawak in the yacht Royalist.
24th September 1841James Brooke granted government of Sarawak by Raja Muda Hassim after helping to quell rebellion
by 1855Postal service in operation.
by 1859Indian stamps available in Kuching.
8th September 1867Opening of Council Negri (State Council) Malaysia 1969 50c Centenary of Sarawak State Council SG 47
11th June 1868On his death, James Brooke had bequethed Sarawak
to his nephew Charles Johnson
later renamed Charles Anthony Brooke
by 1869Indian stamps replaced by Straits Settlements stamps.
1st March 1869First definitve stamp issued depicting James Brooke.
Local postal service established.
1st January 1871New definitive stamp issued depicting Charles Brooke. 1871 3c SG 2 SG 2
1st November 1874Indian stamps replaced by Straits Settlements stamps.
1875First "receipt" stamps issued.
1879Straits Settlements postal cards sold for use in Sarawk at a premium of 1 cent.
1st July 1887Parcel Post service established.
5th September 1888Sarawak became British Protectorate.
10th November 1888New definitive stamps printed by de la Rue. 1888 Postage & Revenue 1c SG 8
1889First postal card issued
Revenue stamps issued.
1890Sarawak occupied Limbang Valley.
February 1895New definitive stamps printed by Perkins Bacon 1895 2c SG 28
1897First postal card issued.
1st July 1897Sarawak joined UPU.
1899Revenue stamps overprinted "Customs" issued.
24th May 1989Sarawak joined the Empire Penny Post scheme.
10th November 1899De la Rue definitives reissued without "revenue". 1899 20c Postage - Postage SG 44
1913First registered envelopes issued.
17th May 1917Rajah Sir Charles Brooke died.
Charles Vyner Brooke installed as Raja.
26th March 1918New definitive stamps issued showing
Charles Vyner Brooke
1918 $1 SG 61
1929Air mails accepted for Singapore-Karachi-London
Imperial Airways service.
1st January 1932New definitive stamps issued printed by Waterlow. 1932 $1 SG 105
1st May 1934New definitive stamps issued printed by
Bradbury Wilkinson.
1934 $3 SG 122
1st March 1938"All-up" Empire air mail service extended to Sarawak.
15th December 1941Miri occupied by Japanese.
October 1942Sarawak stamps overprinted in Japanese issued.
23rd June 1945Australian forces liberated Miri.
by October 1945Austalian stamps made available for civilian use.
17th December 1945New stamps issued overprinted BMA (British Military Administration) 1945 $2 BMA overprint SG 141
15th April 1946Sarawak transferred back to Rajah Charles Vyner Brooke.
1st June 1946British Crown Colony of Sarawak established.
16th April 1947Stamps reissued overprinted with Royal Cypher
and Script CA watermark.
1947 $1 Royal Cypher Overprint SG 162
1st January 1950George VI definitives issued. 1950 $2 Map of Sarawak SG 184
1st June 1955First Queen Elizabeth defiitives issued. 1954 $5 Arms of Sarawak SG 202
31st August 1963Sarawak became self-governing.
16th September 1963Sarawak joined Malaysian Federation.
15th November 1965Orchid definitive stamps issued. 1965 6c Flowers SG 215
1st February 1971Butterfly definitive stamps issued with Sarawak Arms
printed by Bradbury Willkinson.
1971 2c Butterfly SG 220 printed by Bradbury Willkinson
12th February 1977Butterfly definitive stamps re-issued with Sarawak crest printed by Harrison. 1977 2c Butterfly SG 227 printed by Harrison
30th April 1979Flowers definitive stamps issued. 1979 5c Flowers SG 235
1983-86Flowers definitive stamps reprinted
on un-watermarked paper.
1986 5c Flowers SG 242 without watermark
25th October 1986Agro products definitives issued. 1986 15c Rubber SG 251
1st September 1993Agro products definitives re-issued showing new shield. 1993 15c Rubber SG 257

More detailed information on the postal history of Sarawak is contained in
Edward Proud's book "The Postal History of British Borneo"