The first inhabitants of Iceland are believed to be Irish monks since the 8th century but, had to leave as the pagan Norsemen started settling down since 870 AD. According to Landnamabok, which was written in the 12th century, Ingo fur Arnarson, a chieftain from Norway, was the first man to settle in Reykjavik, now the capital of Iceland, along with the members of his family in 874.
In the course of over 60 years, the Vikings from Scandinavia who brought some Celtic people along with them made Iceland their home and towards concluding stages of the settlement phase, a constitutional code of law known as Albingi was adopted. In 1000 AD, a large population of Icelanders adopted Christianity.
When the Kalmar Union was formed in 1397, Iceland got under the sovereign rule of Denmark. The situation in Iceland went deteriorating as the Danish kings started reforming the church, thus increasing their control over the church and confiscated its wealth. An absolute monarchy and oppressive monopoly in the trade was established and all the power was transferred to Copenhagen, proving profitable for the Danish kings. Towards the latter half of the eighteen century, Albingi faced suspension.More...
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.More...