|Flag Name(s)||[Flag Of Iceland]|
|Color Scheme||blue white,red|
|Color and Design|
A blue field with the white-edged red Nordic cross that extends to the edges; the vertical part of the cross is shifted to the hoist side.
|Meaning & Symbolism||For the Icelandic people the flag's colouring represents a vision of their country's landscape. The colours stand for 3 of the elements that make up the island. Red is the fire produced by the island's volcanoes, white recalls the ice and snow that covers Iceland, and the blue is for the mountains of the island.|
|Description and Brief History|
The flag of Iceland was officially described in Law No. 34, set out on 17 June 1944, the day Iceland became a republic.
Iceland's first national flag was a white cross on a deep blue background. It was first shown in parade in 1897. The modern flag dates from 1915, when a red cross was inserted into the white cross of the original flag. This cross represents Christianity. It was adopted and became the national flag when Iceland gained independence from Denmark in 1918.
The history of the flag of Iceland begins with the flag of Denmark. Legends say that a red flag with a white cross fell from the sky before the Danish army fought and won the Battle of Valdemar in the 13th century, and that the Danes have used it as their flag ever since. It also became the first flag of Iceland because Iceland began as a Danish colony.
Iceland had an unofficial flag that was in common use among Icelanders who wanted to establish a republic before the nation gained its independence. The flag featured a white cross on a blue field. It was a reasonably popular design among the citizens, but it never gained official recognition. The Icelandic government only used the Danish flag until it gained its independence from Denmark in 1944.
Iceland abandoned the Danish flag and adopted its modern design on June 17th, 1944, which was the same day that it became fully independent of Denmark. The new government recognized that it needed a flag to represent itself as an independent nation, but it did not want to abandon its Scandinavian heritage. It managed to achieve both of those goals by maintaining the fundamental design of the Danish flag, which is similar to the rest of the Scandinavian flags, but changing the colors to better represent the nation of Iceland.
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