What do the Olympic rings represent?


The Greek national poet Kostis Palamas wrote the poem 'Ancient eternal and immortal spirit' and its music was composed by Spyros Samaras for the 1st Olympiad where it was sung as the Olympic Anthem in the opening ceremony. At the later Olympics other anthems were played. The International Olympic Committee formally and unanimously adopted the Samaras-Palamas work as the official Olympic Anthem in 1958. When the Olympic Flag is raised in the opening ceremony, the Olympic Anthem is played and also when the Olympic Flag is lowered at the closing ceremony. The lyrics sung in English as the Olympic Anthem is:

Immortal spirit of antiquity,
Father of the true, beautiful and good,
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon this ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed the unperishable fame.
Give life and animation to those noble games!
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in the strife!
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
In thy light, plains, mountains and seas
Shine in a roseate hue and form a vast temple
To which all nations throng to adore thee,
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity!


Created by Pierre De Coubertin in 1914.
The Olympic flag ... has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red ... This design is symbolic ; it represents the five inhabited continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time.
—Pierre De Coubertin (1931)[7]

Baron de Coubertin designed the Olympic Flag in 1913-14. It has five interlocking rings (blue, yellow, black, green and red) on a white background. The ring's colours were based on the knowledge that at least one of these colours is on every flag of each participating country. The five interlocking rings represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of the athletes of the world at the Olympic Game.

The Olympic Flag was used for the first time in the 7th Olympiad in Antwerp, Belgium in 1920. It is paraded during the opening ceremony of each Game. At the end of the Games, the Olympic Flag is presented to the next host city by the Games host city.

What do the Olympic rings represent?

Symbolism of the Olympic Rings:

The five interlocking rings represent the five continents brought together by the Olympic Movement, or the five main regions: Africa, the Americas (North and South America are combined), Asia, Europe and Oceania. As it says in 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." The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlocking rings, colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red on a white field. The colors of the rings represent the flags of the countries that participate in the Olympics. Every flag of a country participating in the Olympics includes one of those colors. 

Meaning of the Colors on the Olympic Flag

The following is quoted directly from the IOC: "The five rings represent the five continents. They are interlaced to show the universality of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the whole world during the Olympic Games. On the Olympic flag, the rings appear on a white background. This flag translates the idea of the universality of the Olympic Movement. At least one of the colors of the rings, including the white background, can be found on the flag of every nation in the world. " 

The way in which the rings are interlaced has changed since the symbol was first introduced. They used to be depicted side-by-side, along a shallow arc. They are now drawn in the familiar offset pattern, with three above and two below. They are colored, from left to right: blue (top), yellow (bottom), black (top), green (bottom), and red (top).