Having recently been to Iceland I couldn’t help but notice how many flags were flying in the capital Reykjavik and the surrounding villages. I know most people probably don’t notice these things but as a Flagmaker its refreshing to see a nation taking such pride in their flag.
If ever get the chance to visit Iceland you might begin to understand why… the landscape is vast, beautiful but also dangerous and challenging. In the summer the temperature rarely gets above 10 degrees making winters long and harsh. Only 300,000 people populate the country, making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
The flag and country is only just over 100 years old, previously the Viking settlement bore the flag of Denmark and was not independent. Independence which Icelanders fought long and hard for and gained in 1918.
The flag itself is still resembles elements of the Danish flag but Icelanders felt a need to try symbolise the mountains and water the country relies upon. Hence, the blue symbolised the stark blue mountains, or the ocean. White represented the ice that encrusted the eponymous island. Red symbolising the active volcanoes, which have also made the country famous.
It was uplifting to see a country taking such pride in its flag, I did also find there are very few rules which apply to flying the Icelandic flag. Seems silly but breaking down the potentially complicated flying precedence can make it easier for the public to feel at ease flying the flag.
Again as a flag geek I noticed that when shopping in the capital none of the items featured the Icelandic flag. I thought this seemed very odd until I returned home to read that the use of Iceland’s flag on sold goods or in advertising, or as part of a private emblem or logo is strictly forbidden.
If you’d like to read more on Iceland’s Flag see here.