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Iceland: Shipping Lines

Last modified: 2006-12-30 by rob raeside
Keywords: iceland | nesskip | eimskipafjelag íslands |
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Eimskipafjelag Íslands

[Eimskipafjelag Íslands house flag, Iceland] image by H.M.

Here is the new symbol of the shipping company which has helped ensure Iceland's independence: Eimskipafjelag Íslands, which was founded 17 January 1914, after the first president talked about its necessity with some local businessmen. The old symbol was used from the beginning but has not been displayed from around the WW2.

From their press release: At the beginning of next year a new chapter in the history of Eimskip will begin. Under its A new organization chart, the Eimskip ehf. transportation company will be one of three independent subsidiaries of the parent company, The Iceland Steamship Company Ltd. The role of the Eimskip transport company will continue to be the supplier of choice of comprehensive transportation and logistic services, guided by the principles of professionalism and responsibility. Eimskip will build on three core values: achievement, cooperation and trust.
H.M., 9 December 2002

[Eimskipafjelag Íslands house flag, Iceland] image by Jarig Bakker, 14 August 2004

The Iceland Steamship Co. Ltd. originally traded as H/f Eimskipafelag Islands changing to the English translation in 1985. The original flag mentioned was white with a blue cross fylfot or right handed swastika which is no doubt why it was not seen after WW2, although sources continue to show its existence. The early Brown series placed it under the name of the Iceland Government and up to 1943 showed it with a squat version of the cross whereas from 1978 a more elongated version appears indicating that possibly there was a design change. To confuse matters somewhat, Talbot-Booth in 1936, 1942 and 1944 publications reverses the cross to make it a left handed swastika. I presume that he was in error.
Neale Rosanoski, 18 October 2003

The Iceland S.S, Co., Ltd. (Islands, Eimskipafelag H/f) houseflag was recently drawn by Ivan; Jörg Karaschewski sent an image with a thicker "Hammer of Thor", which I also find in "All about Ships & Shipping", 1959 - description: "Hammer of Thor in Blue on White Ground". However Lloyd's Calendar (1957) puts it simply: Blue swastika on white ground.
Jarig Bakker, 23 October 2003

More surprisingly, it is a clockwise (á la NSDAP) not a counterclockwise swastika. Is this a variant of the house flag, or the reverse of the flag, or what?
Santiago Dotor, 28 October 2003

I got the flag together with a Christmas card. The card shows the office building in Reykjavik from 1926. On the roof there is also the clockwise swastika. So I think it is the original houseflag since the beginning in 1914.
Jörg Karaschewski, 29 October 2003

From the National Maritime Museum: "The house flag of H/E Eimskipafelag, Reykjavik, Iceland. A white rectangular flag with a blue swastika in the centre.
Jarig Bakker, 14 August 2004

That's not a swastika; the arms are half-length. It's a fylfot, I believe, though I can't swear to the spelling of that odd word.
Al Kirsch, 14 August 2004

I sailed on the Icelandic Steamship ships from 1963 to 1969. During this time the swastika flag was flown on their ships wherever. Of course the flag was observed and drove attention to it, where we went, especially in Germany. The British merchant people knew that this flag was already in use in this company from somewhere around 1920.
Guðjón Arngrímsson, 1 November 2006

Photographic confirmation of the swastika flag can be seen at which show's the company's ship M.V. Selfoss flying the blue swastika on white house flag. The photo cannot be any earlier than 1999 since that was when the name Selfoss was first given to the vessel (
Ned Smith, 1 November 2006

Nesskip Hf. Shipping Line

[Nesskip house flag, Iceland] image by Jorge Candeias

Nesskip hf. is an Icelandic maritime company based in Reykjavik.  Image above is based on a graphic in a weekly supplement in the Público newspaper "Carga e Transportes" (Portugal), modified from an animated image at, located by Dov Gutterman, 6 February 1999
Jorge Candeias, 11 February 1999

[Eimskipafjelag Íslands house flag, Iceland] image by Ivan Sache

Nesskip H/F. I visited the company site 20.10.03 and the animated image noted by Dov was not to be seen. However there is a legitimate flag image showing of white with a large blue diamond bearing a white "N".
Neale Rosanoski, 19 October 2003

Nesskip was founded in 1974 by Captain Gudmundur Asgeirsson, Honorary Consul of Cyprus in Iceland, and still owner of the company. The main activity of Nesskip is bulk trade. Nesskip recently invested in transport of fish oil, operating the two chemical tankers "Frigg" and "Freyja".
Ivan Sache, 9 November 2003

Samband Islenzkra Samvinnufelaga

[Samband Islenzkra Samvinnufelaga house flag, Iceland] image by Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2005

Samband Islenzkra Samvinnufelaga, Reykjavik - green flag, white diamond, black circle, black "SiS".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 29 December 2005