Q:

What do the five rings on the Olympic flag mean?

A:

Quick Answer

The five rings on the Olympic flag signify the five inhabited regions that participate in the Olympics. These include Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South America as one region.

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Full Answer

The colors of the Olympic rings are black, green, red, yellow and blue. Each color of the five rings does not correspond to any one specific region, but rather symbolizes the joining of all these regions as collective members of the Olympic Movement. The Olympic rings are hung on flags for decorative displays around each summer and winter Olympic game hosting grounds.

Strict rules apply to the reproduction of the rings. For example, when a hosting city creates a copyrighted emblem for display and sale, the Olympic rings cannot make up more than one-third of the total area of the emblem. The emblem cannot contain any alterations to the original design, which must appear in its entirety. Another specific rule concerning the duplication of the rings states that no certain colors in the rings are allowed to appear above or below any other colors in the rings. Finally, the original colors of the rings must appear on light backgrounds. If a dark background is used, the color substitutions of the rings must include monochromatic white, gray, yellow, gold, silver or bronze.

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