|Subdivision of:||North American League, Scandinavian Realm|
|Other:||Sandvík, Lundur, Árborg|
|Established:||October 21st, 1875, Settlement|
|Admission to NAL:||2001 (33rd)|
All laws are passed by popular vote, and all officials are elected for a one-year term but could be re-elected. Every person of eighteen or over, has the right to vote, but no one can hold office under 21 years of age. A five-person Ráð or Council governs each community, and the chairmen or borgarstjórir of these councils comprise the central government of New Iceland, together with an elected Landstjóri and an elected assembly or Þingi. In general terms, the government as a whole (all segments of it together) is called the Rikisstjórn.
Nýja Ísland is divided into four bygðir or communities: Viðirnesbygð, Árnesbygð, Fljótsbygð and Mikleyjarbygð.
Although Nýja Ísland is currently a part of both the SLC and the Scandinavian Realm, it was founded wholly independently of either. The first emigration from Iceland began in 1874 and 1875, triggered perhaps by one of the harshest winters Iceland had seen in living memory.
On September 10, 1874, the St. Patrick of the Allan Line sailed from the north of Iceland direct to Nova Scotia with approximately 375 immigrants, and arrived on September 23.
For the first two weeks the immigrants stayed in ‘immigrant sheds’ in Toronto, and were then moved to Kinmount, under the supervision of Sigtryggur Jónasson, who acted on behalf of the Ontario government. Work was scarce and ill-paid, however, as the best farm land was already all occupied. In addition, two other settlements at Muskoka, Ontario, along with one in Markland, Nova Scotia, also failed for lack of good farmland.
Thus, in July 1875, the colonists deputised Jónasson to find them somewhere more favourable to settle. The site which they selected for the colony was on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, and included two islands in the lake; Mikley and Engey. The journey of the colonists from Kinmount to what they called Vatnsþingur was frought with difficulty and danger, and was later recorded as the Gimli Saga.
After their arrival and the establishment of the settlements of Gimli and Sandvík, the colonists held a series meetings to frame a constitution, which received their final revision and ratification at Sandvík on January 11th, 1878, a date which is commemorated to this day as Stjórnarskrádagur- Constitution Day.
After a lengthy period of association, the Republic of New Iceland voted by popular referendum to petition for entrance to both the NAL-SLC and the Scandinavian Realm in 1987. After a series of talks, the Republic was admitted as a Province of the NAL-SLC in 2001.
Due to its late admission to both the NAL-SLC and the SR, the culture of New Iceland has remained strongly Icelandic in character, retaining a Icelandic-speaking majority (although it does accept the Scandinavian standard Riksmål as an official language alongside Icelandic). Each year an "Icelandic Festival" is held, involving parades, pageants, dances and poetry recitals.
New Iceland is also interesting in that it has two official flags. During New Iceland's period of independence, the Blue Dannebrog was adopted as the republic's flag. Following accession into the SR, new flags were introduced in line with those of the other members of the SR. It is these new flags which are used to represent New Iceland as a member of the SR outside the NAL. Inside the NAL, the provincial blue Dannebrog is used (at Philadelphia, for example). At the Þingi in Gimli, both the blue ensign and the red SR-type ensign are used simultaneously, to show both the status as a province of the NAL and a member of the SR.
The Province's major newspapers are Framfari, a centre-left journal, and Heimskringla, a more conservative paper. Also popular is Lögberg, a half-serious, half-tabloid journal widely considered to be the best for coverage of sport.
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