90th anniversary of the Icelandic flag Skip to content

90th anniversary of the Icelandic flag

On June 19th, 1915, the King of Denmark decided a flag for Iceland, then part of Denmark. From the 17th century, the symbol of Iceland was the silhouette of a cod set on a golden crown and a red shield. During the independence struggle of the 19th century, numerous suggestions for a new flag were proposed. A blue and white flag, designed by entrepreneur and poet Einar Benediktsson (and first made by Þorbjörg Sveinsdóttir), became popular, and in 1914 the parliament (Alþingi) resolved that it would become the national flag.

But the King of Denmark did not like the blue and white flag, he said he found it too similar to the flag of Greece. The Flag Commission of Parliament (Alþingi) then suggested the current three-colored flag. Locals were not amused, and called the flag a “colonial rag”. Eventually, however, it prevailed.

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