Sport Rio 2016 Olympics

Sunday 19 January 2020

Chinese fury over 'flawed' flag on display at Olympics at Rio 2016

The 'flawed' Chinese flag at a medal ceremony CREDIT: USA TODAY SPORTS
The 'flawed' Chinese flag at a medal ceremony CREDIT: USA TODAY SPORTS

Neil Connor

China has vented its fury after subtle mistakes were noticed in its national flag on display at the Olympics, with media, sports officials and the country’s diplomats seeking answers to the apparent mix-up.

“I am not nit-picking because of obsessive compulsive disorder, but this is the national flag,” said Cui Yongyuan, a Chinese television presenter.

“It is a principle that even primary school students would understand,” he added on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, where he has nine million followers.

The correct Chinese flag features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle rotated to point toward the larger one.

However, the four smaller stars that appeared on flags used in medal ceremonies in the early days of the Olympics were parallel with each other.

Organisers of the Rio Olympics had “deeply apologised” for erecting the “flawed” flags, after the Chinese Consulate-General in the Brazilian city had called on them to correct the mistake, an online post by the mission said on Monday.

Reports in foreign media, however, suggest that that Olympic officials believe the Chinese national team should be blamed.

"All the flags used by the Rio 2016 committee are approved by the National Olympic Committees,” a spokeswoman for the committee told Reuters. “We are working with the Chinese delegation to find a solution to this issue.”

Earlier reports from China on Sunday suggested that the flags had been domestically-made. But that had been ruled out by officials on Monday, media said.

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Leinster's weak point, Johann van Graan's future and Doris vs Deegan

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport