Thursday, 17 March 2011

A touch of vintage patriotism.

So last weekend I visited Kolaportið again, and this time the best haul came from the collectors' booth selling cards and stamps and in general, all prints related. My collection of vintage erotica owes a great deal to that booth. This time I bought four postcards, as much for the awesome as for the mild wtf.

The two first ones show what happens when SUDDENLY VOLCANIC ERUPTION IN YOUR CITY. Heimaey of the Westmanislands suffered a great damage in the 70's. It's a bit of a hero story of how the population 5000 island decided to save whatever they could of their home by pumping seawater on the lava. They even had to choose which one to save: the harbour or the town itself. In the end they decided on the harbour's favour because lose that and you'll lose the town anyway.

This card, I have very little idea. There are two flags on the ship, an Icelandic one and a white swastika flag. I cannot see how the swastika could be linked to nazis (in the WW2 Iceland was occupied by the UK and after that, the USA) so I'm guessing the meaning of the flag is something else. The four images on the corners of this card are the four mythological guardians of Iceland, each of which protects on quarter of the island: the bull, the eagle, the dragon and the giant.

The last one is rather epic: it's Jón "the president", Iceland's independence hero. Title says "Iceland for Icelanders". :D
Just for the info, Jón Sigurðsson was never a president and far as I know he didn't even want to be: he got his nickname from the people of Iceland who wished he had been that. 

The flag behind him is an old 1897 flag, one of those that got support when Iceland was seeking a flag of its own. The Danish king vetoed this design because apparently it could be confused with the flag of Greece...? But does it look familiar to any of you Finns? :D? Worry not, there's no connection - the colours stand for glaciers and mountains, with 1915 added red for fire. I know Wikipedia says the blue is for the Atlantic Ocean but the guy who designed the flag said it was for distant mountains and I'll believe him over Wikipedia anyday.

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