The flag of Iceland (Icelandic: íslenski fáninn) was officially described in Law No. 34, set out on 17 June 1944, the day Iceland became a republic.
The law is entitled "The Law of the National Flag of Icelanders and the
State Arms" 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 rectangles, 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.
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. 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 blue is for mountains in the distance.