Five-year-old rings, like angel-braided bicycle tires

Five-year-old rings, like angel-braided bicycle tires

With the introduction of the flag with the five rings, it was precisely a century ago that international sport came to life. The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games was held in Antwerp, thus ending an absence of eight years. The 1916 edition in Berlin was canceled due to World War I, the first time since 1896 that this event was canceled.

During this ceremony in Antwerp, the Olympic flag was displayed with five interwoven rings on a white background. Each ring symbolizes a continent: Africa, America (North and South together), Australia, Asia and Europe. At least one of the six colors, including the white background, appeared in any national flag in the world in 1920. The continents as well as all countries are united on the Olympic flag – creative in its simplicity.

By the way, the Olympic flag was actually designed seven years ago, but since then there has been no opportunity to show it to the general public. That is why the Opening Ceremony of 1920 is considered the birth of the Olympic Rings, which are now one of the most famous icons in the world.

Additional symbolic value

Pierre de Coubertin, the godfather of the modern Olympic movement, invented these five rings. Through an ingenious build, German sports historian Karl Lenartz succeeded in 2001 following the supposed de Coubertin line of thought. He found Linarts in the German magazine The Bicycle Chronicle From 1896 Dunlop Tire Manufacturer ad. In the attached photo, four angels braided five bicycle tires together. Each angel represents a continent, except for Australia. This was exactly the same idea of ​​the Olympic rings!

At the same time, Radfahr-Chronik has also posted an ad from a bike manufacturer, flaunting De Coubertin as one of the proud owners of their product. This makes it very likely that the Frenchman saw the interlocking five bike tires, and subsequently hopped the Olympic flag in his head. Although the opening ceremony in Antwerp took nearly a quarter of a century, this symbolism gained additional value, as a sporting appeal of unity after that terrible war. The Olympic flag, in fact, was the response of international sport to the greatest social problem of the time.

Science first

Jasper Troens published his book on Antwerp in 1920 this summer and searched for a flag in 1920. A number of them were used, but the largest of them – six by four meters – flew off the flagpole, to be transported to Paris afterwards. The Olympic Games of 1924. Four years later it was also used in Amsterdam, after which it was sent to Los Angeles. “However, the flag was dirty and it was replaced,” Troens said. The original from Antwerp thus disappeared in the private archive of Ed Zuchili of the 1932 Olympic Organizing Committee.

Linarts found these historical remains at the beginning of this century with Zuschili’s descendants. And grandson Patrick Zucchelli says the science still exists. Exactly a century after the first Olympic flag was raised during the rebirth of international sport, this historic sporting masterpiece is located in an American basement far from Antwerp.

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