Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Flag of Iceland
The flag of Iceland was officially described in Law No. 34, set out on June 17, 1944, the day Iceland became a republic. The law is entitled "The Law of the National Flag of Icelanders and the State Seal" and describes the Icelandic flag as follows:
- The civil national flag of Icelanders is blue as the sky with a snow-white cross, and a fiery-red cross inside the white cross. The arms of the cross extend to the edge of the flag, and their combined width is 2/9, but the red cross 1/9 of the combined width of the flag. The blue areas are right angled squares, the rectilinear surfaces are parallel and the outer rectilinear surfaces as wide as them, but twice the length. The dimensions between the width and length are 18:25.
The civil flag of Iceland had been used as an unofficial symbol since 1913. It was officially adopted on June 19, 1915 to represent Iceland as a territory of Denmark, and has been in use at sea since December 1, 1918. On June 17, 1944 it was instated as the emblem of the independent republic of Iceland. Like other Scandinavian crosses , it is based on the Dannebrog.
Laws regarding the flag
On June 17, 1944, the day Iceland became a republic, a law was issued that dealt with the national flag and the coat of arms. To date, this is the only major law to have been made about the flag and coat of arms, aside from two laws made in 1991: one that defines official flag days as well as the time of day the flag can be drawn, and another that defines the specific colours that the Icelandic flag is composed of (until then, the colouring had followed by convention; the new law set the common custom in stone).
The law describes the dimensions of both the common flag and special governmental flags used by embassies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also goes into details of usage, such as how the flag should be attached in different situations such as on a flagpole, a house and on different kinds of ships.
According to the law, using the flag is a privilege and not a right. The owner must follow instructions on its usage and make sure that his or her flag is in mint condition regarding colouring, wear and tear. It also states that no-one shall disrespect the flag in act or word, subject to a fine or imprisonment of up to one year.
The original law stated in its seventh article that another law would be set regarding official flag days and the time of day that the flag may be drawn, but such a law was not put into effect until almost 50 years later in 1991. This law states that the flag shall not be drawn until 7 o'clock in the morning, that it should preferably not be drawn longer than until sunset but that it must not be drawn longer than midnight. However, if the flag is raised at an outdoor assembly, an official gathering, funeral or a memorial the flag may be drawn as long as the event lasts, though never longer than midnight.
Official flag days
According to Law No. 5 of January 23, 1991, the following are nationally sanctioned flag days. On these days the flag must be raised at Federal and State buildings, and those under the supervision of officials and special represtentetives of the state. Any additions to the list below can be decided each year by the Prime Minister's Office . On these days, the flag must be fully drawn, except on Good Friday where it must be drawn at half-mast.
- The birthday of the President of Iceland
- New Year's Day
- Good Friday
- The First Day of Summer
- May 1
- Sailors Day
- June 17
- December 1
- Christmas day
Colours of the flag
Officially, the colours of the Icelandic flag follow a law set in 1991 which states that the colours must be the following Standard Colour of Textile (Dictionaire Internationale de la Couleur) hues:
- Sky-blue colour: SCOTDIC number 693009.
- Snow-white colour: SCOTDIC number 95.
- Fire-red colour: SCOTDIC ICELAND FLAG RED.
Recently, the government of Iceland has considered issuing colour specifications in the better known Pantone and CMYK systems. However, no official action was taken, and the PMS and CMYK specifications remain unofficial proposals.
Pantone Matching System proposal:
- Blue: PMS 287
- Red: PMS 1795
- Blue: CMYK 100-69-0-11.5
- Red: CMYK 0-94-100-0
- L÷g um ■jˇfßna ═slendinga og rÝkisskjaldarmerki. ( 1944 nr. 34 17. j˙nÝ ).
- Forseta˙rskurur um fßnadaga og fßnatÝma. ( 1991 nr. 5 23. jan˙ar ).
- Auglřsing um liti Ýslenska fßnans. ( 1991 nr. 6 23. jan˙ar ).
- L÷g um breyting ß l÷gum nr. 34 17. j˙nÝ 1944, um ■jˇfßna ═slendinga.
- National flag
- National emblem
- List of flags
- List of national flags
- Gallery of flags
- List of flags with blue, red, white in them and flags with three colours.
- Prime Minister's Office page about the icelandic flag (Icelandic)
- History of The Coat of Arms (Icelandic)
- History of the Icelandic flag (English)
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