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Iceland - Flag Rules


Last modified: 2014-05-22 by zoltán horváth
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Handling of the flag of Iceland.

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.

Courtesy of the Office of the Prime Minister of Iceland

I. General flag handling.
  • (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 angle, 1:2,5.
  • (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.

II. Various additional flag handling rules.
  • (a) Always when the flag is raised or lowered care should be taken not to let it touch the ground.
  • (b) The flag cord should be stretched so that the edge of the flag lies close to the pole;
  • (c) Two or more flags should never be flown on the same pole.
  • (d) If the Icelandic flag is among flags of other nationalities, it should be to the farthest left;
  • (e) If the flag is hung on a wall, it should be fully extended, and the smaller rectangles should turn upwards or to the left;
  • (f) 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 flags;
  • (g) 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;
  • (h) When a coffin is covered with the flag, the cross should be towards the head;
  • (i) The flag should always be stored in a safe place;
  • (j) 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 burning.
  • (k) Disrespect to the flag. Misuse of the flag is punishable. The use of the flag is forbidden, i.e., in firm marks, trade marks, on sales goods, packaging or in advertisements. However, changes in these stipulations have been under discussion in the Althing. The use of the flag is also forbidden in private emblems for persons, companies, institutions, etc.