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The Olympic Charter

Last modified: 2014-05-31 by Zachary Harden
Keywords: olympic games | international olympic committee | national olympic committee | ring |
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[The Olympic flag]
image by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán
Flag adopted: 1914.


The Olympic Charter (updated on 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:

See also:

Other sites:


Art. 12: Olympic Symbol

  1. The Olympic symbol consists of the five Olympic rings used alone, in one or in several colours.
  2. The five colours of the rings are mandatorily blue, yellow, black, green and red. The rings are interlaced from left to right. The blue, black and red rings are situated at the top, the yellow and green rings at the bottom. The whole approximately forms a regular trapezium, the shorter of the parallel sides forming the base, according to the official design deposited at the IOC headquarters and reproduced below.
  3. The Olympic symbol represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


Art. 13: Olympic Flag

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.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


Art. 15: Olympic Emblem

  1. An Olympic emblem is an integrated design associating the Olympic rings with another distinctive element.
  2. The design of any Olympic emblem shall be submitted to the IOC Executive Board for its approval. Such approval is a prerequisite to any use of such emblem.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


Art. 17: Rights to the Olympic Symbol, Flag, Motto and Anthem

All rights to the Olympic symbol, the Olympic flag, the Olympic motto and the Olympic anthem belong exclusively to the IOC.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


BYE-LAW TO RULES 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 AND 17

(...)

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.

5.      (…)

6.      (…)

7.      (…)

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 fulfill 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 fulfill 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 fulfill 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 supply 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.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


Art. 35: (NOC) Flag, Emblem and Anthem

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.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


Art. 67: Use of the Olympic Flag

  1. An Olympic flag of large dimensions must fly for the entire duration of the Olympic Games from a flagpole placed in a prominent position in the main stadium, where it is hoisted at the opening ceremony and lowered at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.
  2. The Olympic Village as well as the competition and training venues and all other places that are under the responsibility of the OCOG must be decked with a large number of Olympic flags. 3 A large number of Olympic flags shall be flown along with the other flags in the host city.

Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999


BYE-LAW TO RULE 69

1.      Opening Ceremony
1.1     The Olympic Games shall be proclaimed open by the Head of State of the host country.

1.2     (…)

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.

1.4     (…)

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.

1.6     (…)

1.7     (…)

1.8     (…)

1.9     (…)

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.

1.11  (…)

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
2.1.   (…)

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.

2.5.   (…)

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.


The Netherlands Antilles in Olympics

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a UN member. The islands Aruba and NA were (one) member of UPU and observers of several other organizations (UNWTO etc.).
The expectations is that this will be changed to Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten as one member/observer.
The Olympic Comittee has changed the rules for membership of non-indepentent entities. Existing members will stay a normal member, but new non-independent members will not be admitted. This means that Aruba stays a IOC member, but Curaçao and Sint Maarten athletes will have to be part of the Netherlands team.
Maxim van Ooijen, 11 October 2010

The Netherlands Antilles will continue to exist not as a country but as a (sports) region in the Caribbean. Please visit: http://www.naoc.info/new-status/
"New status:
NAOC was founded in the year 1931 and as such is one of the oldest Olympic Committee of the Caribbean region. On a political level it was decided in 2005 that the country Netherlands Antilles will seize to exist within a couple of years. Together with the Antillean Minister of Sports, as well as all five insular commissioners of sports the goal was unanimously set (29th of October 2006) to maintain NAOC and its members as umbrella sport organizations. This was approved by the International Olympic Committee (28th of June 2007) and ratified during the General Assembly of NAOC on the 5th of July 2007. The name Netherlands Antilles will no longer refer to a country, but to a region in the Caribbean. NAOC will keep its status as highest sport's governing body for all five islands. The support towards the federations, the islands and all athletes will be intensified in the near future."
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 4 January 2011

On Jan. 13 this year, the Executive Board of the IOC agreed to allow athletes from former Netherlands Antilles to compete under the Olympic Flags as independet athletes, just like those from East Timor in Sydney 2000, Yugoslavia in Barcelona 1992. Other sources declare that even the IAAF has withdrawn recognition to the former Netherlands territory, then the athletes are to compete under the Dutch flag.
Sources: http://www.rnw.nl/caribiana/article/atleten-tot-2012-onder-olympische-vlag
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110113/ap_on_sp_ol/oly_ioc_meetings
http://www.tsn.ca/olympics/story/?id=349231
http://insidethegames.biz/summer-olympics/2012/11628-ghana-and-netherlands-antilles-set-to-miss-london-2012
http://www.thedailyherald.com/sports/local-sports/12395-netherlands-antilles-loses-olympic-charter.html
http://www.thestate.com/2011/01/13/1644125/ap-sources-ioc-suspends-ghanas.html
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 25 January 2011

Football world governing body FIFA in its official website has replaced the page "Netherlands Antilles" for that of "Curaçao" In the link "Associations" of the same site in English, the name "Netherlands Antilles" used to appear between "Netherlands" and "New Caledonia"; right now it appears no more. Insted, the name "Curaçao" has been placed between "Cuba" and "Cyprus".
A month ago, the International Olympic Committee ruled that all athletes from the former Netherlands Antilles would participate in the 2011 Pan American Games and 2012 Olympic Games under the Olympic Flag as independent Athletes; after that all of them shall compete under the Dutch flag. At the same time IAAF (World Athletics Federation) witdrew its recognition towards the non-existent Netherlands Antilles stating that Athletes from the former territory shall compete for the Netherlands from now on.
Though lacking of official statements, it seems that FIFA decided to keep recognition to Curaçao as the legal successor of the Netherlands Antilles.
The flag shown for Curaçao in the FIFA site is this one, the code in use is : CUW (the same used by ISO-3166)
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 6 March 2011

Since July 2007 there is a new article 31.1 in the Olympic Charter (see below). This means that non-independent countries can no longer become an IOC member. NOCs that were members of the IOC before 2007 can remain a member (American Samoa, Aruba, Bermuda etc.). Others can not become a member anymore (Northern Marianas, Faroe Islands, New Caledonia).
The NAOC has tried, but apparently lost. Since there is also a rule that athletes participating for a NOC should be a citizen of that country. This would mean that no athletes from Curaçao or Sint Maarten can go to the Olympic Games any more, since they are not citizens of the Netherlands or Aruba, but of other countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
See also (opens as a Word document):
http://box576.bluehost.com/pipermail/bestuur_sports.an/attachments/20100420b1a4ecf4/attachment-0009.doc
http://box576.bluehost.com/pipermail/bestuur_sports.an/attachments/20100420b1a4ecf4/attachment-0009.doc

31 Country and Name of an NOC
1. In the Olympic Charter, the expression “country” means an independent State recognised by the international community.
Maxim van Ooijen, 11 October 2010


Sources: Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999



 
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