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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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