Description. The national flag of Iceland is a sky-blue rectangle with a
snow-white cross and a fiery-red cross in the middle of the white cross.
The proportional figures for the width and length of the rectangle are
18:25. The arms of the crosses extend entirely to the edges of the flag.
The width of the white cross is 2/9 and that of the red cross 1/9 of the
width of the flag. The blue field is thus divided into four rectangles,
the two nearest to the flagpole being squares (equilateral rectangles),
the other two being of the same width as the squares, but twice as long.
The split-flag. The split flag (swallow-tail flag) is used by the
Government, the Althingi, other official institutions, and
representatives of the Foreign Service abroad, including honorary
consuls. The split-flag differs from the ordinary national flag in the
following: The outer blue fields are three times as long as the squares
near the flagpole. It has a slit which is cut in straight diagonal lines
from the outer corners of the flag towards its horizontal median; these
lines cut the inner horizontal edge of the outer rectangles at a
distance from their inner vertical edge which is 3/7 of the length of
these rectangles; however, the diagonal lines do not extend fully to the
horizontal median of the flag; where they meet the arm of the red cross
it is cut athwart by a straight line.
Other types of flags. Other types of flag are the flag of the President of
Iceland, the post- and telegraph flag and the customs flag. All three
are split-flags with different signs on them.
The colours of the flag. The colours are based on the Scotdic textile colour
codification as follows:
(a) The blue colour: Scotdic No. 693009;
(b) The white colour: Scotdic No. 95;
(c) The red colour: Scotdic Icelandic flag red.
may acquire samples of the flag colours from an Icelandic embassy or the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
of the Icelandic flag by consuls.
See Article 44 (6).
Official flag days.
flag days in Iceland are the following:
(a) Birthday of the President of Iceland;
(b) New Year's Day (1 January);
(c) Good Friday (Friday before Easter, half-mast);
(d) Easter Day;
(e) First Day of Summer (a Thursday during the period 19 to 25
(f) Labour Day (1 May);
(g) Whit Sunday (seven weeks after Easter);
(h) Sailors' day (the first Sunday in June, a week later if that day is
(i) National Day (Proclamation of the Republic in 1944 Birthday
Jon Sigurdsson 17 June 1811);
(j) First of December (Proclamation of Independence in 1918);
(k) Christmas Day (25 December).
stated in Article 44 (6) all consuls are expected to fly the flag on the
National Day of Iceland.
Handling of the flag. Detailed stipulations regarding the handling of
the Icelandic flag are set out in a booklet published by the Office of
the Prime Minister in 1991. Consuls should take note of the following
rules and endeavour to observe them when applicable.
(a) Proportion between flag and pole. When a ground flagpole is
used, its length should preferably be five times the width
of the flag. If the pole is on a rooftop, the proportions
should be 1:3 and if it is on the side of a house at an
(b) Flag time. The flag should not be raised before seven O'clock
in the morning. It should normally be lowered at sunset and
should never be kept hoisted after midnight.
(c) Flying the flag at half-mast. When the flag is to be flown at
half-mast, it should first be raised to full mast and then
lowered until 1/3 of the pole is above the upper edge of the
flag. When the flag is flown at half-mast on the occasion of
a funeral it should be raised to the top of the flagpole
when the funeral is over and flown until evening in honour
of the deceased.
(d) Various rules. Always when the flag is raised or lowered care
should be taken not to let it touch the ground.
i. The flag cord
should be stretched so that the edge of the flag lies close to the pole;
ii. Two or more flags
should never be flown on the same pole.
iii. If the Icelandic flag is among flags of other nationalities,
it should be to the farthest left;
iv. If the flag is hung on a wall, it should be fully extended,
and the smaller rectangles should turn upwards or to the left;
v. When the flag is
used beside a rostrum or table, it should always be to the left of the
speaker, seen from the audience, or on both sides if there are two
vi. The flag may not be used on a rostrum, as a tablecloth or a
floor mat, or to cover a statue which is about to be presented;
vii. When a coffin is
covered with the flag, the cross should be towards the head;
viii. The flag should always be stored in a safe place;
ix. It is forbidden
to fly a flag which is faded, dirty, frayed or damaged in any other way.
Such a flag should be repaired without delay or else destroyed by
to the flag. Misuse of the flag is punishable. The use of the
flag is forbidden, i.e., in firm marks, trademarks, on sales goods,
packaging or in advertisements. However, changes in these stipulations
have been under discussion in the Althingi.
The use of the flag is also forbidden in private emblems for
persons, companies, institutions, etc.
When a consul learns of the misuse of the Icelandic flag, he
shall notify an Icelandic embassy or the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in
Reykjavik (see Article 54 of this Manual).