Iceland Flag History
Until 1809 Iceland shared its flag with that of Denmark since it was united with Denmark, along with Norway. The first independent flag for Iceland was brought forward by Jorgen Jorgensen, a Danish adventurer, captaining a British ship, usurped the throne of the king. The flag had a blue background with 3 stockfish on it, which was put up for the first time on 12 July 1809, soon after which Jorgensen was arrested and the flag did not gain any importance.
In 1870, Sigurdur, Gudmundsson, an artist from Iceland was instrumental in designing a new flag with a silver falcon on a blue backdrop. This design became extremely popular among students and was widely used in 1874, when Iceland celebrated one thousand years of its settlement
However, in the year 1897, Einar Benediktsson, a poet pointed out that Sigurdur’s designed flag did not comply with the international standards and thus, needed to be replaced and proposed a new one with a white Nordic cross against the blue background, which found its popularity especially due to an incidence that happened in 1913 wherein a young man, sailing his small boat with the flag was arrested and had his flag confiscated by the captain of a Danish coastguard ship, which spread a widespread protest all across Reykjavik.
In a meeting that followed, the official declaration of the blue and white flag was called for, which however was denied by the Danish authorities since it was found to be very similar with the flag of Greece. In 1915, Matthias Thordarson proposed a new flag with a red cross with a white outline against the backdrop of blue, which is presently used today. The blue color represents the mountains, the white stands for ice, and the red signifies fire due to Iceland’s volcanic eruptions.
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