Q:

What do the five rings that appear on the Olympic flag signify?

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Quick Answer

Pierre de Coubertin, who designed the Olympic logo with five interlocking rings, suggested that the rings represent the five general areas of the world where people (and the athletes competing in the games) live. Five solid colors appear in the logo from left to right: blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

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What do the five rings that appear on the Olympic flag signify?
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Full Answer

Early in the 20th century, Pierre de Coubertin designed a logo for the International Olympic Committee. First used during the 1920 Olympic Games, the logo symbolically represents how the games encourage the unity of athletes and countries from five regions of the world. These five areas include the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The value of equality is showcased through the equal size of each ring, as no one ring appears dominant to any of the others. The importance of cooperation is symbolized through the interlocking nature of the rings; none of the rings appears on its own.

Due to the importance of the Olympic logo, there are very strict regulations regarding how it may be used. Most importantly, all five rings must always be included when the logo is used. Graphic designers who incorporate the Olympic rings into their work must be careful to render the rings using appropriate colors based on the background of the image.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do the five Olympic rings stand for?

    A:

    The five Olympic rings represent the five areas of the world involved in the Olympics, with North and South America representing one area. They are interlocking to symbolize the universality of the Olympic spirit and the coming together of athletes from around the world during the Olympic Games.

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  • Q:

    What does each Olympic ring stand for?

    A:

    Each individual Olympic ring does not have a meaning, but the rings and background overall represent the colors of the flags of every country that participated in the Olympic Games at the time of the symbols' creation. The symbol was created by Pierre de Coubertin in 1912.

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  • Q:

    What is the meaning of the linked rings on the Olympic symbol?

    A:

    The five linked rings on the Olympic symbol stand for the five continents that participate in the Olympics: Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America (considered as one continent) and Australia/Oceania. The colors of the rings do not signify individual continents, however. Instead, they represent an amalgamation of the colors appearing on the national flags of all the countries that participated in the Olympics as of 1912, when the flag was designed.

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  • Q:

    Why were the five colors of the Olympic rings chosen?

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    The five colors of the Olympic rings and the white background were chosen to represent all of the colors of the flags seen from each country competing in the Olympics. It was designed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1913, at the outbreak of World War I, to symbolize peace and fraternity.

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