Meaning of the Olympic symbol

by 5ocietyx

Olympic symbol

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the modern Olympic Games, designed the famous 5 ring symbol exactly 100 years ago to represent the colours of the flags of the competing nations at the time (including the white background).

It is thought he was inspired by the logo of the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques which he was in charge of at the time.

USFSA logo

Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques logo

Although resembling the vesica piscis which is created by the intersection of two circles where the centre of each circle lies on the perimeter of the other, Bert Janssen argues that it actually represents ‘squaring the circle’ as does the USFSA logo.

Olympic symbol

Olympic Rings

The 5 rings later came to also represent the 5 continents involved in the Olympics.

Carl Jung saw the ring as a symbol of wholeness and the interlocking of rings as continuity.

The symbol of the 5 rings is loosely based on the flower of life except that rings on the same row are not interlinked with each other but are linked with ones directly above or below.

Olympic Rings Flower of Life