There are four symbols in the colors and objects on the Icelandic flag which have great meaning to the people. The red cross which was introduced to the modern flag in 1915 stand for Christianity. The three colors represent three important aspects of their lives. Red is symbolic of the fire that erupts from volcanoes on the island, white represents snow that covers the land occasionally, and blue stands for the color of mountains on the island.

According to a legend, a red flag with a white cloth fell from the heavens during the Battle of Valdemar ensuring Danish victory. Denmark used this flag in its territories until the time when Iceland became a kingdom on its own. At independence, Iceland kept the cross but changed the background.Iceland‘s original flag was a white cross on a blue background. This flag was paraded in 1897 for the first time. This flag referred to as Hvítbláinn ("the white-blue") was used up to the 1900. There was another designer of Iceland‘s flag known as Einar Benediktsson’s whose design was more popular with the people in around the second decade of the 1900s. His design was a white cross on a blue background.

The flag of Iceland was put in place through a law that stipulated how the national flag and coat of arms should look like. The law describes the colors and dimensions of the flag. Apart from this law, there also exists a law that defines official flag days and times. The original design of the fag was by a man called Matthías Þórðarson in 1906. He made the design and presented it to the Reykjavík Student’s Association. In this presentation, he outlined the symbolism of the different colors. This design by Matthias was eventually adopted as the official flag over a long struggle.

In past versions of the flag, the hue of blue has appeared to be slightly different. There was also formerly an unofficial flag of Iceland that was only blue and white.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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