What is the meaning of the Five Olympic Rings?

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics coming soon, let us take a look at the history and meaning of the ever-famous Olympic flag rings.

Meaning Behind the Five Olympic Rings
Olympic flag

The Olympics have been around for 124 years, with the first ever modern Olympics being held in 1896. The Olympic rings, however, made their first debut to the public in 1913. The Olympic flag was raised for the first time at the Antwerp Olympics in 1920.

The Olympics flag consists of 5 interlaced rings of equal dimensions in 5 colours, blue, yellow, black, green and red (left to right). While the blue, black and red rings are at the top, the yellow and green rings are at the bottom, interlaced with the other rings. These rings represents five continents at the time Olympic games started – Africa, Asia, America, Europe, and Oceania.

Pierre de Coubertin was the creator of the first design of the famous Olympic Rings. He said that the design he created was symbolic. He created the rings to represent all five continents, which were united by Olympism.

Meaning of the Five Olympic Rings – Unity

Olympic flag
Olympic flag

As per Olympic Charter, Rule 8, “The Olympic symbol expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.” 

The Olympic rings symbolize unity between all continents and nations who participate. However, each colour on the rings does not represent a particular continent. Instead, the five colours, along with the white background on Olympic flag was said to represent the flags of all nations during that time.

Tokyo Olympics
Olympic rings

Today there are seven official versions of the Olympics. The most used and widely known one is the fully coloured rings placed on a white background. There are also monochrome rings, which are an alternative to the full colour Olympic flag rings. The Olympic rings can appear in any of the six official colours to represent the Olympics at all times.

Also Read: From football to Skateboarding: Know all the sports which will be a part of Tokyo Olympics