Iceland Political System, Famous People, Animals and Plants

By | January 15, 2023

Iceland: political system

According to COMPUTERMINUS.COM, the official name of the country is:

Lýðvelðid Iceland Republic of Iceland

Iceland is a parliamentary democracy. The 63 members of parliament are elected every four years in free, secret and equal elections. According to the 1944 constitution, the country’s president is elected directly by the people every four years. He appoints and dismisses the members of the cabinet, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. In the tradition of a noble assembly founded in 930, the parliament is still called Althing. See AbbreviationFinder for more information about Iceland politics, and acronyms as well.

The country belongs to NATO but neither to the EU nor to the euro area. Despite its NATO membership, the country has no armed forces of its own – with the exception of a coast guard of around 120 people.

National anthem

The Icelandic national anthem dates from 1874. On August 2nd, the millennium of the settlement of Iceland was celebrated with a festive ceremony. Of the three stanzas of the song, however, only the first stanza is sung as the national anthem. The text is from the pen of Matthías Jochumsson (1835-1920). The music for this comes from Sveinbjörn Sveinbjörnson (1847-1926).

In Icelandic In the English translation
Ó, guð in front of the lands! Ó, lands vors guð!Vér lofum þitt heilaga, heilaga nafn!

Úr sólkerfum himnanna hnýta þér krans

þínir herskarar, tímanna safn.

Fyrir þér er an dagur sem þúsund ár

og þúsund ár dagur, ei meir:

eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,

sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.

Íslands þúsund ár,

Íslands þúsund ár,

eitt eilífðar smáblóm með titrandi tár,

sem tilbiður guð sinn og deyr.

O God, you our lord of Iceland,your name be holy to us, yes holy every hour. Your hosts

wind your wreaths from solar systems

, eons in covenant.A day’s run is a thousand years ahead of you, a thousand years

are nothing but a day,

an eternity flower in danger of the weather,

which can do nothing without you.

Iceland’s Thousand Years’,

an eternal flower in danger of weather,

which can do nothing without you.

National flag

The national flag (national flag) of Iceland was officially introduced on June 19, 1915. Based on flag descriptions by, the dark blue symbolizes the Atlantic Ocean and the blue sky over the land. The red and white cross stands for the volcanoes and the ice of the glaciers. In addition, the Scandinavian cross expresses the bond with Scandinavia.

  • Check top-mba-universities for public holidays, sports events, UNESCO world heritage sites and major places to visit in Iceland.

Iceland: Known People

Egill Skallagrímsson (910-990)

Viking, farmer and court poet and hero of the famous “Egils saga”

Björk Guðmundsdóttir (born 1965) Born

on November 21, 1965 in Reykjavík, “Björk” is an internationally known musician, songwriter, composer and also a recognized actress.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir (born 1967).

Pirate Party politician. Birgitta Jónsdóttir was born on April 17, 1967 in Reykjavík.

It is considered a bit esoteric and very close to nature, which is not unusual in Iceland.

She has three children. She was the first chairwoman of the Icelandic Pirate Party from 2012 to 2013 and again from 2014 to 2015.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir was elected to the Icelandic parliament Althing in 2009 for the party citizens’ movement.

From 2013 to 2014 she was the group leader of the Píratar (Pirate Party). In the parliamentary elections on October 29, 2016, her party won 14.5% of the votes cast, 10 seats out of a total of 63 in the country’s parliament.

Halldór Kiljan Laxness (1902-1998)

Writer, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955. In his works he repeatedly refers to the myths and legends of the country.

Robert James (Bobby) Fischer (1943-2008)

Ingenious chess player and chess grandmaster. He became an Icelandic citizen in March 2005 to prevent extradition to the United States.

There he was to be tried for a chess game in 1992 in what was then Yugoslavia, which was under embargo, and threatened to imprison him for up to 10 years.

Hallgrimur Petursson (1614-1676)

Pietist pastor and mighty preacher, as well as poet and psalmist. Many of his psalms are still sung today. He died of leprosy in Iceland on October 27, 1676.

In Reykjavik the Hallgrims-Kirkja is named after him

Snorri Sturluson (1179-1141)

poet, historian and at times politician. He wrote the Prose Edda, a textbook for skalds – courtly poets in Scandinavia – and the Heimskringla, a story of the kings of Norway.

Iceland: animals


The only indigenous – mammals that lived in the country before Iceland was settled – are the arctic foxes. The animals, colored brown in summer and snow-white in winter, live in burrows in the tundra.

In addition to lichens and berries, their diet also includes voles, eggs and carrion. With the settlement, rats, mice, cats, dogs and sheep came to Iceland. The latter use extensive pastures and are particularly numerous. Reindeer, originally imported from Norway as livestock, live in the northeast of the country.

A very special mammal is the Icelandic horse, which was once brought to the island by the Vikings. The purebred of this particular species is protected by only allowing the export, but not allowing the import of other horse species or the return of the Icelandic horse.

The horse, which appears in 40 different shades of color, has a short neck and a height of 125-145 cm. Horses are valued for their good nature, simplicity, patience and resilience.

The Icelanders are also proud of the five gaits that the Icelandic horse can master, including the so-called tölt, which is very comfortable for the rider despite its speed. In addition to cross-country riding, gait tournaments and therapeutic riding, the Icelandic horse is also included in agriculture for sheep driving.


Dogs and other pets are not allowed into Iceland.

In addition, there are no poisonous animals on the island.


Despite its remote location, Iceland has a relatively large number of bird species. Seabird colonies of guillemots, alks, gulls, sandpipers and oyster fishermen can be found on the coast. The eider duck living on the coast is of particular importance.

The duck weighs over 2 kg and is up to 60 cm tall. It has a conspicuous triangular head and a relatively high beak. While the drakes with their black and white feathers are drawn very conspicuously, the females with a predominantly brown color are rather inconspicuous. The down of the eider ducks is taken from the nests and used to make duvets and insulating clothing. Apart from Iceland, this species also breeds in the Baltic Sea and some animals in the Wadden Sea.

The skua is one of the enemies of the seabirds, as it chases their prey away and often takes the seabird with it.

The great sku can mainly be found in the gravel plains below the glacier. It is recommended to stay away from her during the breeding season as she becomes very aggressive during this time.

In the inland there are numerous species of ducks, geese and whooper swans can be observed.

The 30 cm large puffin is considered the secret heraldic animal of Iceland. However, it has little in common with the parrots, but belongs to the family of the alken.

The name comes from the colorful, parrot-like beak, while the bird is black and white. The bird can be seen brooding between June and July.

It is interesting that while the meat of the old animals is highly valued as a delicacy by the locals, the young animals are protected, as the clutch of the beautiful and cute birds consists of just one egg.

The birds of prey, whose prey is mainly the ptarmigan, include the now rare sea eagles, ger and pygmy falcons as well as the snowy and short-eared owls.

Songbirds are only found in Iceland in summer.

One of the largest bird cliffs in the world can be found in the West Fjords, while gannets are the world’s largest colony on Eldey Island.


Mosquitoes appear on Mosquito Lake – nomen est omen – or in wetlands.

Flies, bees, wasps, bumblebees, dragonflies and hornets also live here.

There are also different species of spiders in Iceland.

Underwater world

Numerous species of whales and seals are not uncommon in Iceland. Again and again you can enjoy watching porpoises and minke whales, dolphins, humpback, fin and blue whales as well as the striking black and white drawn killer whales (also known as orcas).

Seals cavort in estuaries and on the coast. Usually it is the common seal, but the cone, polar sea and gray seals are also represented.

Occasionally you can also come across the flap cap, whereby the bubble-shaped bulge attachment that leads from the forehead to the nostril is characteristic and also gives its name. When aroused, e.g. during mating or as a threatening gesture, it swells enormously. The males reach a body length of 2.5 m and a weight of 300 kg, the females are slightly smaller and correspondingly lighter. The solitary animals always stay in the immediate vicinity of the water and avoid coasts and pack ice. The young animals were hunted for a long time because of their bluish fur.

With age, they turn blue to dark gray.

In Iceland’s waters, fish such as cod, haddock, redfish, wolffish, halibut and ling as well as saithe are not uncommon.

The country’s rivers are said to be the best salmon rivers in the world. The fish murta, a small trout, occurs only in the inland lake Pingvallavatu. It is especially exported to the USA.

Iceland: plants


Iceland has a rather poor flora. Not least because the predominant plants have to be adapted to the harsh climate and have to be resistant. In contrast to earlier times, trees are not very common and there are hardly any forest areas. The largest contiguous forest, consisting mainly of birch and mountain ash, grows on Lagarfljöt in East Iceland. There have been successful reforestation attempts in the north of the country and at Skorradalsvatu. Other trees that occur are alders. The herb willow, a very small tree, blooms in the dwarf shrub heather.


A lichen from the Icelandic moss is often used as grave decoration in Germany. Another species that grows in the raised bogs is similar to seaweed and is processed into cough syrup as well as cough and herb drops in Switzerland.

The roots and flowers of the bedstraw, which grows in dry locations and along roadsides, were previously used as coloring agents. The herb is still added to English Chester cheese today and is an important part of its taste and color.

Medicinal plants

The common yarrow from the daisy family grows up to 60 cm high and grows on dry meadows, on paths and pastures. The inflorescences occurring between June and October and the herb are used.

The common yarrow has an antibacterial and antispasmodic effect and stimulates the liver’s bile secretion. Furthermore, it also has a digestive effect and is used for loss of appetite and gastrointestinal problems.

The real bearberry is a 25-100 cm high shrub from the heather family and has red, pea-sized berries. The shrub thrives in closed rock niches and on sunny dwarf shrub heaths.

The plant helps with urinary tract infections, while it is used in folk medicine for diarrhea and as a labor medication.

The rose root, which is 5 to 35 cm in size, thrives on moist soils such as wet meadows and bog soils. According to studies, the plant is said to promote concentration and memory.

Poisonous plants

If the bearberry is overdosed, the tannins contained in the plant can lead to stomach irritations and constipation. If handled incorrectly, the substances can also cause cancer and damage the liver.

The wood, the bark, the needles as well as the seeds contain toxic substances compounds, they are the taxanes or taxane derivatives.

More plants

Most often you will find lichens and mosses in a wide variety of colors. These plants grow particularly well in rocky deserts and lava fields.

Dwarf shrub heaths thrive up to a height of 400 m and hard grasses such as sedges, rushes, cotton grass and sedge can be found in the fens of the lowlands.

Dune grasses were planted to protect against wind erosion.

The northern cuckoo flower orchid is widespread.

Silberwurz and chamois heather are the typical plants of the arid regions.

The marsh marigold, as well as the marsh heart leaf, the marsh violet, the common and the carnivorous butterwort grow in more humid places.

The crowberry, which grows on raised bogs and in coastal dunes, is a small dwarf shrub with branches with leaves all around. From March to June, small black berries develop, which have a laxative effect when eaten raw.

In Scandinavia they are often eaten as a compote.

Iceland Politics