I am so excited that 2016 is an Olympic year! The games will take place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in August, and get started in a little less than 2 months. I don’t know about you, but I usually get hooked at the beginning of the opening ceremony, and follow along until the end of the closing ceremony.
One thing we all see during the games, and recognize instantly, is the Olympic flag. You know the one, that white flag with some rings on it?
Most of us recognize the Olympic flag when we see it, but I don’t think that too many of us know why the flag looks the way it does.
But don’t worry. I learned a lot about the flag while doing some research recently, so I’m here to share a quick overview and give you 6 information tidbits that will impress your friends when the topic of the Olympics rolls around (or you happen to get the Olympics category during trivia night):
- The Olympic Flag consists of the “Olympic Rings” on a white base.
- The “Olympic Rings” symbol was originally designed in 1912, and is composed of rings in blue, yellow, black, green, and red.
- The 5 ring colors, along with the flag’s white background, represent all of the colors found in all of the national flags of the countries that competed in the Olympic games at that time 1.
- The rings interlock, representing the union of the 5 continents2 of the world, and the meeting of athletes from around the world at the Olympic Games.
- The 1916 games were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War I, so the rings and flag weren’t used for the first time until the 1920 Games held in Belgium.
- During each Olympic closing ceremony, the Olympic flag is passed from the mayor of one host city to the next host city, who will take it to the new host and display it at city hall.
Before I wrap up, there are a few things I should clarify:
1 There are more countries participating in the Olympics now than there were in 1912, when the flag was designed. In order to represent ALL of the current Olympic country’s flags, 6 more colors would need to be added: Orange, Purple, Gray, Maroon, Copper and Brown.
2 We all learned in elementary school that there are really 7 continents, but Antarctica doesn’t send anyone to the games, and North and South America were grouped together as the “Americas.”
So, I’m curious. How much of this Olympic flag trivia did you already know? Comment below!
See you next week!
P.S. Want to learn more? Here are the references I used:
P.S.S. If you love the Olympic games and celebrating the spirit of international competition as much as I do, you might be interested in this “Ring Colors” beaded coil bracelet: