Last modified: 2005-07-09 by juan manuel gabino villascán
Keywords: olympic games | international olympic committee | national olympic committee | ring |
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by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán
Flag adopted: 1914.
The Olympic Charter (updated 12 december 1999), includes the following information about the Olympic flag, the Olympic symbol, the flags and emblems of the NOCs, and the Parade of Flags:
The Olympic flag has a white background, with no border. In its centre is located the Olympic symbol in its five colours. Its design and proportions shall be those of the flag presented by Pierre de Coubertin at the Paris Congress in 1914.
All rights to the Olympic symbol, the Olympic flag, the Olympic motto and the Olympic anthem belong exclusively to the IOC.
4. The NOCs may only use the Olympic symbol, flag, motto and anthem within the framework of their non-profit-making activities, provided such use contributes to the development of the Olympic Movement and does not detract from its dignity and provided the NOCs concerned have obtained the prior approval of the IOC Executive Board.
7.1. An Olympic emblem may be created by an NOC or an OCOG.
7.2. The IOC Executive Board may approve the design of an Olympic emblem provided that it considers that there is no risk of confusion between such emblem and the Olympic symbol or other Olympic emblems.
7.3. The area covered by the Olympic symbol contained in an Olympic emblem shall not exceed one third of the total area of such emblem. Furthermore, the Olympic symbol contained in an Olympic emblem must appear in its entirety and must not be altered in any way whatsoever.
7.4. In addition to the foregoing, the Olympic emblem of an NOC must fulfil the following conditions:
7.4.1. The emblem must be designed in such a way that it is clearly identified as being connected with the country of the NOC concerned.
7.4.2. The distinctive element of the emblem cannot be limited to the sole name - or abbreviation of such name - of the country of the NOC concerned.
7.4.3. The distinctive element of the emblem must not make reference to the Olympic Games or to a specific date or event, so as to be limited in time.
7.4.4. The distinctive element of the emblem must not contain mottoes, designations or other generic expressions which give the impression of being universal or international in nature.
7.4.5. In addition to the provisions contained in paragraphs 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 above, the Olympic emblem of an OCOG must fulfil the following conditions:
7.4.6. The emblem must be designed in such a way that it is clearly identifiable as being connected with the Olympic Games organized by the OCOG concerned; (…)
7.5. In addition to the provisions contained in paragraphs 7.1, 7.2 and 7.3 above, the Olympic emblem of an OCOG must fulfil the following conditions:
7.5.1. The emblem must be designed in such a way that it is clearly identifiable as being connected with the Olympic Games organized by the OCOG concerned;
7.5.2. The distinctive element of the emblem cannot be limited to the sole name - or abbreviation of such name - of the country of the OCOG concerned;
7.5.3. The distinctive element of the emblem must not contain mottoes, designations or other generic expressions which give the impression of being universal or international in nature.
7.6. Any Olympic emblem which has been approved by the IOC Executive Board before the coming into effect of the foregoing provisions shall remain valid.
7.7. Whenever and wherever possible, the Olympic emblem of an NOC must be susceptible of registration (i.e. of legal protection) by the NOC in its country. The NOC must carry out such registration within six months of such emblem’s approval by the IOC Executive Board and provide the IOC with proof of registration. IOC Executive Board approval of Olympic emblems may be withdrawn unless the NOCs concerned take all possible steps to protect their Olympic emblems and inform the IOC of such protection. Similarly, the OCOGs must protect their Olympic emblems, in the manner described above, in their countries as well as in other countries as decided in consultation with the IOC Executive Board. Any protection obtained by the NOCs and the OCOGs cannot be put forward against the IOC.
12. The Olympic symbol and the Olympic emblems of the IOC may be exploited by it or by a person authorized by it, in the country of an NOC,provided that the following conditions are respectively fulfilled:
12.1. For all sponsorship and suppliership agreements and for all marketing initiatives other than those referred to in paragraph 12.2 below, the condition shall be that such exploitation does not cause serious damage to the interests of the NOC concerned and that the decision be taken by the IOC Executive Board in consultation with such NOC, which shall receive part of the net proceeds deriving from such exploitation.
12.2. For all licensing agreements, the condition shall be that the NOC shall receive half of all net income from such exploitation, after deduction of all taxes and out-of-pocket costs relating thereto. The NOC will be informed in advance of any such exploitation.
The flag, the emblem and the anthem adopted by an NOC for use in relation to its activities, including the Olympic Games, must be approved by the IOC Executive Board.
1. Opening Ceremony
1.1 The Olympic Games shall be proclaimed open by the Head of State of the host country.
1.3 The parade of the participants then follows. Each delegation, dressed in its official uniform, must be preceded by a name-board bearing its name and must be accompanied by its flag, to be carried by a member of the delegation. The flags of the participating delegations, as well as the name-boards, shall be provided by the OCOG and shall all be of equal size. The name-board-bearers shall be designated by the OCOG.
1.5 The delegations parade in alphabetical order according to the language of the host country, except for Greece, which leads the parade, and for the host country, which brings up the rear. Only those athletes participating in the Olympic Games with the right to accommodation in the Olympic Village may take part in the parade, led by a maximum of six officials per delegation.
1.10 While the Olympic anthem is being played, the Olympic flag, unfurled horizontally, is brought into the stadium and hoisted on the flagpole erected in the arena.
1.12 The flag bearers of all the delegations form a semicircle around the rostrum. A competitor of the host country mounts the rostrum. Holding a corner of the Olympic flag in his left hand, and raising his right hand, he takes the following solemn oath:
"In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams".
1.13 Immediately afterwards, a judge from the host country mounts the rostrum and, in the same manner, takes the following oath:
"In the name of all the judges and officials, I promise that we shall officiate in these Olympic Games with complete impartiality, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship." (…)
2. Closing Ceremony
2.2. The flag bearers then form a semi-circle behind the rostrum.
2.3. The President of the IOC and the President of the OCOG mount the rostrum. To the sounds of the Greek national anthem, the Greek flag is hoisted on the flagpole that stands to the right of the central flagpole used for the winners' flags. The flag of the host country is then hoisted on the central flagpole, while its anthem is played. Finally, the flag of the host country of the next Olympic Games is hoisted on the lefthand flagpole to the strains of its anthem.
2.4. The mayor of the host city joins the President of the IOC on the rostrum and returns to him the Olympic flag. The president of the IOC then entrusts it to the mayor of the host city of the following Olympic Games. This flag must be displayed in the latter city's main municipal building.
2.6. A fanfare then sounds; the Olympic flame is extinguished, and while the Olympic anthem is being played, the Olympic flag is slowly lowered from the flagpole and, unfurled horizontally, carried out of the arena, followed by the flag bearers. A farewell song resounds.
Olympic Charter -
International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999