The Olympic Flag

The Olympic Flag


The Olympic flag was designed in 1913.


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The Olympic symbols are icons, flags, and symbols used by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to elevate the Olympic Games. Some—such as the flame, fanfare, and theme—are more commonly used during Olympic competition, but others, such as the flags, can be seen throughout the years. The Olympic flag was created under the guidance of Baron Coubertin in 1913 and was released in 1914. It was first hoisted in 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium at the 1920 Summer Olympics in the main stadium. The five rings represent the five continents of the world.

The Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger". It was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin upon the creation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894. Coubertin borrowed it from his friend Henri Didon, a Dominican priest who was an athletics enthusiast. Coubertin said "These three words represent a program of moral beauty. The aesthetics of sport are intangible." The motto was introduced in 1924 at the Olympic Games in Paris. A more informal but well-known motto, also introduced by Coubertin, is "The most important thing is not to win but to take part!" Coubertin got this motto from a sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania during the 1908 London Games.

The rings are five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field, known as the "Olympic rings". The symbol was originally designed in 1913 by de Coubertin. He appears to have intended the rings to represent the five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Oceania. According to Coubertin, the colors of the rings together with the white of the background included the colors composing every competing nation's flag at the time. Upon its initial introduction, Coubertin stated the following in the August 1913 edition of Olympique


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