While there are seven continents in the world, there are only five rings to represent them. This is because the 'Americas' are represented by a single ring, and Anarctica is unpopulated.

Olympic Flag

An immortal symbol of the modern Olympic Games is the Olympic Flag. Five colored rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red, are intertwined on a white background. The reason for these six colors is that any flag of a participating country will contain one of those colors. It is not true that each of the colored rings stands for a specific continent. According to the Olympic Charter, the five-ringed symbol "represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games."

Baron Pierre de Coubertin instituted the idea of both the symbolism and the flag. He had the 3 meters long and 2 meters wide flag made in Paris at a shop adjoining to his birthplace. The Olympic Committee adopted the flag in 1914, and it was first flown at the 1920 Antwerp Games.

Traditionally, eight people carry in the flag into the opening ceremony. Five of these flag bearers represent continents, while the other three stand for the Olympic ideals of sport, environment, and culture.

The entwined circles reflect the way and continents have been brought together by the Olympics. Coubertin explained the flags symbolic meaning saying, "These five rings represent the five parts of the world now won over to the Olympism and ready to accept its fertile rivalries. Also, the six colors thus combined represent those of all nations, with no exceptions. This is a real international emblem."