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.

Pierre de Coubertin, who was one of the founders of the modern Olympic games, designed the Olympic flag with the symbol of the five rings in 1912. He pointed out at the time the significance of the color choices. The countries of Sweden, Greece, France, England, the United States, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Brazil, Australia, Japan and China all had their national colors represented in the five rings. Because of this, de Coubertin belived the Olympic rings were the first truly international symbol. Although the Olympic handbook stated for some years that individual colors represented specific continents, this claim was removed in 1951, because there was no indication that de Coubertin ever intended this interpretation. For de Coubertin, the interlocked rings represented a sense of wholeness and continuity.

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  • Q:

    What do the Olympic rings mean?

    A:

    The Olympic rings symbolize the joining of the five continents and their union by meeting to compete at the Olympic Games. The colors of the Olympic rings are blue, yellow, black, green and red, but these colors do not represent the colors of the five continents.

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  • Q:

    What do the five rings on the Olympic flag mean?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    Why were the five colors of the Olympic rings chosen?

    A:

    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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  • Q:

    Why are there five Olympic rings ?

    A:

    The five rings represent the flags of the majority of countries that participate in the Olympic events. Blue, yellow, black, green and red, as well as the white in the background, were found in the majority of the nations' flags.

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