Washington, August 5 : The five rings of blue, black, yellow, red and green, which make up the Olympic symbol, traditionally represent the five different areas of the world involved in the Olympics, namely, America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe.
According to the Olympic Charter, "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."
But the six colors, if you include the white background in the Olympic flag, were intended to represent the various colors seen on the flags of nations competing in the Games of Olympiads I, II, III, IV, and V.
It is likely that these rings could also symbolize the previous five Olympiads completed prior to 1914, according to historian David Young.
Each color does not correspond to a specific continent, as is commonly thought; besides, there are technically seven continents on Earth, not five.
"It is a true international emblem," wrote Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Modern Olympic Games, in 1913. He spoke of uniting the different regions of the world, not the different continents.
Coubertin designed the Olympic flag in 1913, at the outbreak of World War I, to symbolize peace and fraternity. Though adopted the following year as the official Olympic symbol, he had to wait until after World War I to see the Olympic flag flown at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics.
The 1928 St. Moritz winter games in Switzerland were the first to display the Olympic rings on the official Olympic poster. But it was not until the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin that this emblem became widely popular.
As an image of Olympism, Coubertin thought the rings had deep significance, that of the union of humanity.
The larger symbolism of circles was likely not lost on Coubertin either.
According to psychologist Karl Jung, circles, or rings, represent wholeness, and when joined together, continuity.