Icelandic National Day

17 Jun 2019  Mon

Icelandic National Day is an annual holiday in Iceland which commemorates the foundation of The Republic of Iceland on 17 June 1944.

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic. In 1814, following the Napoleonic Wars, Iceland remained a Danish dependency. A national consciousness arose in the first half of the 19th century, inspired by romantic and nationalist ideas from mainland Europe. An Icelandic independence movement took shape in the 1850s under the leadership of Jon Sigurosson.

Also, the Danish–Icelandic Act of Union, an agreement with Denmark signed on 1 December 1918 and valid for 25 years, recognized Iceland as a fully sovereign and independent state. Beginning on 20 May 1944, Icelanders voted in a four-day plebiscite and establish a republic. The vote was 97% to end the union, and 95% in favor of the new republican constitution.

Hence, Iceland formally became a republic on 17 June 1944, with Sveinn Bjornsson as its first president. To commemorate this event Icelandic Post issued a set of 6 stamps with the portrait of Jon Sigurosson who was a major figure of Icelandic culture and the leader of the 19th-century Icelandic independence movement. The stamps were issued with the denominations ranging from 10 Icelandic eyrirs to 10 Icelandic kronas.

The stamps show the portrait in the center with the name of the country at the top along with the day 17th June above is flanked by the year 1944. The denomination value is seen at the bottom of the stamp.

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