The flag of Iceland followed the example of the other Scandinavian countries and consists of a blue background bearing a red cross, which is embedded in the traditional white Scandinavian cross. The blue color is supposed to represent the Atlantic Ocean, the red lava and Icelandic volcanoes, and the white stands for other Icelandic natural landmarks - glaciers and geysers. The red cross also points to the historical ties with Denmark, that dominated Iceland since the 14th century. Iceland adopted the flag in 1918 when it won the statute of the autonomous territory of Denmark. However, the flag did not become the official national flag until 1944, when Iceland became fully independent.