fimmtudagur, júní 09, 2005

með lögum skal land byggja

I was following an Iceland police (lögregla) truck on the way home today and noticed that inscribed around the circumference of the police shield is a motto - með lögum skal land byggja - with law shall a country build.

It filled me with Icelandic pride as I thought of Viking chieftains assembling on the plains of Þingvellir in 930 A.D. for what became the world's first representative government. It is really an amazing land and culture they and their descendants have built.

2 Comments:

Blogger ECS said...

It´s definitely better than a certain other motto we love to hate....

"Öruggur staður til að vera á"

not sure that one fills me with Icelandic pride!

10.6.05  
Blogger Jens said...

Yes, the democratic traditions in Iceland go back a long time and is something to be rightfully proud of. However, I was wondering about the origin of that motto ("með lögum skal land byggja")!

Every Danish school child knows that phrase from the preamble of "Jyske Lov" (Law of Jutland), which was introduced by King Valdemar II of Denmark in 1241. Did he steal it from the Icelanders, or is it a part of Iceland's colonial past ;)

Btw. the start of said preamble is a great read. Here is a rough translation of what it goes on to say: "(With law shall a country be build), but if every person would be content with his own and let others enjoy similar rights, then a law would not be necessary"

Keep blogging and have fun up there in the long summer nights!

10.6.05  

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