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Olympics - Flags questions

Olympic Games / Jeux Olympiques

Last modified: 2004-09-10 by
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[The Olympic flag]
by Mark Sensen
Flag adopted: 1914.


Where the Olympic flag can be seen?

The IOC guards the dignity of the Olympic symbol and therefore limits the hoisting of Olympic flags to specific situations.

Now that the celebration of the 19th Olympic Winter Games is over, it's asif the Olympic Movement started wearing a dull winter fur, hardly showing any colour at all. But during Salt Lake 2002 there Olympic flags where flying everywhere.

After Salt Lake 2002, most of the Olympic Flags have beeen taken down again, but there are a few places where the Olympic flag can be found throughout the year:

{1 and 2}

Other Olympic flags questions

1. Has the Vatican's flag ever been carried in the Olympics?

I doubt it. For starters, it's not big enough (population-wise or athletic training facilities (a must for aspriant Olympic nations) wise. {4}

2. Where does the IOC get the Olympic national flags? Jim Ferrigan?

I believe from each country involved, they are to provide a sample of the national flag in official specifications. {4}

3. What happens to these flags AFTER the Olympics?

4. Do the individual nations specify to the IOC how their flag is designed at some point in the planning for the next Olympics?

Of course, many flags remain unchanged, but we should see some changes in the 2004 Summer Olympics.

I gather that governments are contacted about 6 months before, or something. This is a guess. {4}

5. Have there been any last minute flag changes in Olympic history?

Yes, I can think of a famous (to us) one - Bosnia! I believe that the very first place that the current Bosnian flag was unveiled was Nagano, having officially adopted it that day or the day before, and leaving the organizers wondering what the flag would look like. (I remember that the sign-bearers (ie the volunteers that carry the name of the nation preceding the flag bearer) in Nagano were dressed in the national colours of each country's flag, except the Bosnian one (dressed in the colours of the old flag), since they weren't informed in time.) {4}

{Questions by 3}


1 International Olympic Committee Website, July 2000
2 Pascal Vagnat, 11 December 1998
3 Edward Mooney, February 9, 2002.
4 David Kendall, February 9, 2002.