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The modern Olympic Games were revived in 1896, although the flag with the symbols of the five interlaced Olympic rings came into use a few years later. Maybe you already know what the Olympic flag represents, but just in case you don´t, in this article, we explain everything about the meaning of the Olympic flag.
🏅 The Symbol
The current flag was a creation of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, considered to be the father of today’s Olympic Games. Coubertin was a French educator, historian, and founder of the International Olympic Committee, as well as its second president. He officially presented the Olympic rings in Paris in 1913.
However, it was not until 1920, at the 7th Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, that the symbol was first used on flags and banners.
According to the Olympic Charter, Rule 8, “the Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games”.
The five interlaced rings represent the five continents: America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
🎨 The Colors
Each ring has a color: blue, yellow, black, green, and red. They appear in two rows on a white background. Three at the top (blue, black, and red), and two at the bottom (yellow and green).
The white color symbolizes peace and the rest represents one of the five continents each. Blue for Oceania, black for Africa, red for America, yellow for Asia, and green for Europe.
In addition, the six colors chosen reflect at least a single color from the flags of the nations worldwide without exception.
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📐 The Design
The design of the Olympic rings has been evolving over time, and today there are 7 official versions, but is the full-color version on its white background the preferred one. In 2010, the IOC Executive Board approved the last official version of the Olympic rings going back to its original seamlessly interlaced design, according to the original Coubertin’s vision.
Both the Olympic rings and the Olympic flag are the exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee. The flag may only be used during the Olympic Games.
🎼 The Olympic Hymn
And obviously, there is also the Olympic Hymn. A piece of music composed by Spiros Samaras with lyrics from a poem by Kostis Palamas, both are Greek nationals. The anthem was premiered at the 1st Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Today it is played during the raising of the Olympic flag at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games.
Now that you know everything about the Olympic flag and its meaning, we are sure you will enjoy the next Olympic Games in a different way.
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