Olympic Flag: What do the rings represent?

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The Olympic flag is most probably the most recognizable symbol of the Olympic Games. The interlocking rings were first drawn by Pierre de Coubertin – the founder of the modern Olympic Games – on a letter in July 1913. Soon after, the rings made their debut on the first Olympic flag.

  • The flag officially debuted at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.
  • The Olympic symbol represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.
  • The rings are five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white background, known as the “Olympic rings”. Pierre de Coubertin appears to have intended the rings to represent the five inhabitant continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Oceania. However, no continent is represented by any specific ring. 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 without exception.
  • The original Antwerp Olympic Flag is now on display at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.