Olympics officials in Rio have apologised after discovering they were raising an incorrect version of the Chinese national flag during medal ceremonies. Both Chinese flags are red and feature a large yellow star flanked by four smaller stars. But there are (very) subtle differences in how the smaller stars are aligned.
“We do understand that there is a problem with the flag,” said Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 Olympic Games executive communications director. “It’s very small. You have to be very familiar with the Chinese flag to understand that. However, we need to correct it.” Which of course Rio have now adjusted to the appropriate flag!
Viewers in China spotted the mistake and took to a Chinese social media site to complain and raise their concerns which sparked the debate. A local paper even labelling the flag “botched”.
The correct Chinese flag the four smaller stars are rotated so that each one of them points towards the larger corner star. Here at Flagmakers we were left wondering how on earth the Olympic officials had managed to get hold of the flag with the incorrect artwork in the first place!
Perhaps even more concerning is that Mario Andrada had said the flags made for Rio were “been approved by the Chinese prior to production.” We get a sneaking suspicion someone didn’t check their proof properly – but it’s a national flag it shouldn’t really need to be approved.
The Rio games are already under pressure from security threats and welfare concerns that you can’t help but feel a flag blunder is fairly minor in comparison. However, on the world stage little slip-ups are soon amplified! Rio have confirmed the correct flags are now available for flying and have offered a full apology.