“Our country, who’s become so old your head all covered with white hair.
Always held us, your children, in your bosom providing the riches of your coasts.”
— from Greenland’s National Anthem
“And you: friendless, brainless, helpless, hopeless! Do you want me to send you back to where you were? Unemployed in Greenland!”
—Vizzini, The Princess Bride
Contrary to what Vizzini would have you believe, Greenland is not entirely a world devoid of life and hope. Although it does have a reputation as Iceland’s “redheaded Viking step-cousin, relatively ignored in a frozen wasteland far away from the rest of the world.” (Branding Greenland)
Greenland, long ruled by the Kingdom of Denmark, has been moving (at a glacier’s pace) toward independent nationhood since 1953. In 1979 and again in 2009 it gained greater autonomy from Denmark, which still exercises responsibility for Greenland’s foreign affairs. (CIA World Factbook)
Greenland adopted it’s own national flag on June 21, 1985. The red and white flag symbolizes the midnight sun and white the snow that covers much of the island. According to greenland.com, about 10% of fresh water on earth is frozen in Greenland’s ice sheet.
“If the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, scientists estimate that sea level would rise about 6 meters (20 feet).” — National Snow & Ice Data Center
In terms of area, Greenland is the 13th largest country in the world. In terms of popuation though, it’s only 205th, with about 60,000 people.
June 21, the longest day of the year, is Greenland’s National Day as well as its Flag Day. It’s known as “Ullortuneq”, or “Longest Day.”
Happy National Day, Greenland. Enjoy the longest day!