Flags and the Olympic Spirit

Posted by Accent Banner on Jan 7, 2020 2:51:08 PM

The Olympics has spread its gospel far and wide since the first modern Games held in Athens in 1896 and athletes from thirteen countries participated. Since then at PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, there has been 206 recognized Olympic Nations, represented by a National Olympic Committee (NOC) in each country. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) presides over the Olympic Games themselves, and the NOCs are divided between five continental associations. No other worldwide organization, outside the United Nations can quote such impressive figures as these. The Olympic movement is unique, designed as it is to transcend national boundaries, political affiliations and differences of religion and color and to plan its activities in a regular four cycles. The Olympics games is intended to be all friendship and brotherhood and does not fall short of its aims.

Olympic Games ceremonies

The Ancient Olympic Games is an integral part of the present games. The modern Olympic games have three major elements, opening, closing and medal ceremonies. Some of the elements of the modern ceremonies harken back to the Ancient Games from which the Modern Olympics draw their ancestry. The Olympic opening ceremonies represent the official commencement of an Olympic Games.

  • Artistic Programs
  • Parade of Nations
  • Traditional Events
  • Olympic flames
  • Doves

Parade of Nations

The traditional part of the ceremonies starts with a "Parade of Nations", during which most participating athletes march into the stadium, country by country. For every Opening Ceremony, each host country has a theme. During the "Parade of Nations", the host country's goal is to represent their cultural identity and to show the world their place in society. For example, in the 2008 Beijing Olympics the theme was “unity”. On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake erupted in Sichuan. As the host country, China wanted to remember this tragic event by having Yao Ming, a Chinese basketball legend, walk together with Lin Hao, a nine-year-old boy who saved some of his classmates during the earthquake.

Each country's delegation is led by a sign with the name of their country and by their nation's flag.

Traditionally, since the 1928 Summer Olympics Greece always enters first and leads the parade due to the historical status as the progenitor of the Olympics, and the host nation enters last. All other participating teams enter after Greece and before the host nation, in alphabetical order according to a language selected by the organizing committee for those games, which is usually the dominant language in the area of the host city. Announcers announce each country's name in English, French and the dominant language of the area of the host city, if neither English nor French is the dominant language. In the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the Greek flag led the parade, while the Greek team entered last, as the host nation; Saint Lucia then entered first.


Medal Presentation

After each Olympic event is completed, a medal ceremony is held. A three–tiered rostrum is used for the three medal winners, with the gold medal winner ascending to the highest platform, in the center, with the silver and bronze medalists flanking. After medals are distributed, the flags of the nations of the three medalists are raised. The flag of the gold medalist's country is in the center and raised the highest while the flag of the silver medalist's country is on the left facing the flags and the flag of the bronze medalist's country is on the right, both at lower elevations than the gold medalist’s country's flag.

The flags are raised while the national anthem of the gold medalist's country plays. Citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies. They aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag bearers.

Closing Ceremony

In contrast to the opening ceremony, many elements of the Olympic closing ceremonies gradually developed more by tradition than official mandate. Like the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony begins with the raising of the host country's flag and a performance of its national anthem. Then after the flame is extinguished, there would be a party for the athletes featuring some of the host country's music culture.

The traditional part of the closing ceremony starts with the "Parade of Flags", where flag bearers from each participating country enter the stadium in single file, with the Greek flag in the lead and the host nation's flag bringing up the rear. Behind them march all the athletes without any distinction or grouping by nationality. This "Parade of Athletes," the blending of all the athletes, is a tradition that began during the 1956 Summer Olympics at the suggestion of Melbourne schoolboy John Ian Wing, who thought it would be a way of bringing the athletes of the world together as "one nation." It was the very first International Peace March ever to be staged

After all the athletes enter the stadium, the final medals ceremony of the Games is held. The medalist’s national flags are then hoisted and the national anthem of the gold medalist’s country is played.

Next, two other national flags are hoisted on flagpoles one at a time while the corresponding national anthems are played: the flag of Greece to again honor the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic Games. "Hymn to Liberty", the national anthem of Greece, has been performed at every closing ceremony of the Olympic Games. Then, while the Olympic Hymn is played, the Olympic flag that was hoisted during the opening ceremony is lowered from the flagpole and carried from the stadium.

Afterwards, the President of the Organizing Committee makes a speech. The IOC President then makes a speech before closing the Olympics by saying:

And now, in accordance with tradition, I declare the Games of the [ordinal number of Summer Olympics] Olympiad/[ordinal number of Winter Olympics] Olympic Winter Games closed; and call upon the youth of the world to assemble four years from now in [name of next host city] to celebrate the Games of the [subsequent ordinal number of Summer Olympics] Olympiad/[subsequent ordinal number of Winter Olympics] Olympic Winter Games.

Finally, the Olympic flame is extinguished, marking the end of the Games.






-Behind the Olympic Rings by Geoffrey Miller, Published by H.O Zimman, Inc


Reference Images

- Cover Image: http://www.leparisien.fr/sports/jo/pyeongchang-2018/jeux olympiques-2018-en-directla-ceremonie-de-cloture-debute-a-midi-25-02-2018-7578219.php

- Image 1: Makaristos - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Olympic-ag Victoria.jpg

- Image 2: Jude Freeman - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_Games_ceremony#/media/File:2010_Op ning_Ceremony_-_Greece_entering.jpg

- Image 3: Map of all countries in the Olympics and their regional associations. By Evan Centanni,modeled aer this map.

- Image 4: Martin Dougiamas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CyclingTeamPursuitBeijing2008.jpg

- Image 5: http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/rio-2016/foto/2016-08/movimento-na-entrada-do-maracanapara-abertura-dos-jogos

- Image 6: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Terminam_os_Jogos_Ol%C3%ADmpicos_Rio 2016_(29068652481).jpg

Topics: event flags, national flags, flag

8 tips for flying your flag on Independence Day!

Posted by Accent Banner on Jul 4, 2018 8:45:00 AM


1. Never let the flag touch the ground. When hanging or displaying your flag, the key is to not damage it – so don’t drop it or let it touch anything beneath it.
2. Never wear the flag as a costume. The U.S. Flag Code makes very clear that no part of the flag should be worn as sportswear or as a costume, or used to make drapery or bedding. For those who really want to show off their patriotism, opt for a patch or a lapel flag pin worn near your heart.
3. Never display the flag except from sunrise to sunset, unless it is lighted at night. This means, according to the American Legion, that other people should always be able to recognize the flag. If there’s bad weather, you must take the flag down unless you have an all-weather flag.
4. Never place the flag anywhere but at the peak of the staff, except when the flag is at half-staff. When the flag is suspended over a sidewalk from a rope extending from a house to a pole at the edge of the sidewalk, the flag should be hoisted out, union first, from the building. (The union is the blue field of stars.) When hanging the flag vertically, the union must always be at the top.
5. Never wad the flag, but rather fold it properly. The way you store your flag is important. The American Legion says to fold it into a triangle, similar to a three-corner hat, with the blue and stars showing.
6. Never raise the flag slowly: It should be raised briskly, but lowered slowly and ceremoniously. 
7. Never carry the flag flat or horizontally. It should always be carried aloft and free.
8. Never display the flag with the union down. Only in instances of extreme danger to life or property should the flag be displayed that way, as a distress signal.
For more information on how to display and dispose of your flag, go to http://www.usflag.org/flagetiquette.html.


Topics: applique, American flag, U.S. flag, flags, national flags, U.S. Flags, outdoor flags, vexillology, applique flags, Flag Display, flag, retiring a flag, US Flag Facts

Why Are Flags Flown at Half-Mast?

Posted by Alan J. Duro on Feb 10, 2015 1:00:00 PM

When you drive by an American flag and it is flying at half-staff (or half mast), you know there is a period of mourning in effect, but you might have questions about the details. Why fly flags at half-staff when someone dies? What constitutes a person important enough to have national flags lowered? When did this tradition start? 

History of Flying Flags at Half-Mast 

national flags

Most historians agree that the earliest references to this event date back to 1612 when the captain of the Heart's Ease perished as the British ship was heading to Canada. Upon returning to London, the ship's flag was at half-mast. Scholars believe that the ship's flag was lower the width of one flag to make room for the invisible Death's Flag.

U.S. Flags and Flying Half-Staff

The United States has strict regulations that are in place when it comes to flying national flags at half-staff. For various members of the government, for example, the time frame varies. Upon the death of any president of the United States -- current or former -- the flags fly at half-staff for 30 days. The death of the current chief justice, vice president or speaker of the house means U.S. flagswill fly at half-staff for ten days. Other governmental officials such as former governors, vice presidents and cabinets secretaries have national flags lowered from the day of their deaths until the day they are interred.

Other Events That Prompt a Flag to be Lowered

The President has the power to also order the U.S. flags to be at half-staff when other important figures pass away or when catastrophic events occur. After the death of Pope John Paul II, President George W. Bush ordered flags be lowered until his interment. President Barack Obama directed that all national flags were to be flown at half-staff for the time period of December 5, 2013 until December 9, 2013 upon the death of Nelson Mandela.

A bit of flag trivia for you. Many people use the terms "half-staff" and "half-mast" interchangeable when it comes to talking about the ways flags are flown on a flagpole. In actuality, "half-mast" is only used when naval installations are involved while "half-staff" is used in all other instances.


CTA- Flag Life

Topics: flags, national flags


The design of a flag refers to the elements of its aesthetics like colors, layout, size, decorations and lighting. The effective combination of these elements results in enticing and captivating clients and consumers in the hopes of higher purchase probability. A brand is an identifiable entity that makes specific and consistent promises of value and results in an overall experience for the consumer. This entity can include names, terms, signs, symbols, designs, shapes, colors or a combination of these elements. elements. A flag may be the first presence of a brand that consumers or clients encounter. The purpose of this flag is to let consumers or clients identify with the products or services of a seller, differentiating them from those of competitors, and thereby provide value to the consumers. Flags have become an integral part of luxury retailing especially in fashion and this is crucial for representing brand identity and meeting the expectations of shoppers. The store is often the first point of real physical contact between consumers and brands.


A brand’s identity is communicated through the store concept with signs, floor layout, product displays etc., creating and harmonizing a brand image that leads to an internal judgement of the brand by consumers. This branding concept highlights the importance of a flag for retail stores. If a consumer sees the flag outside the luxury store and visits the store afterwards, they would expect synchronicity between the image that they already have in their mind based on the flag and what they see and experience in the store. The flag is like the cover of a book and the store is the actual book contents. The story should be in accord with the cover.


A luxury retail or corporate company caters to a niche consumer and advertisements are tailored towards a specific consumer market. The advertisements are a means of communicating the brand’s story, starting from history and development to personality and image, including products and services. For example it is common to find the flags of luxury stores in streets like Bond Street where most of the consumers in full time employment use public transport in and out of central London daily. Luxury brands achieve a strategic objective by hanging their flags where the target consumers commute. Another example could be Newbury St, where consumers regularly commute or work in and around Back Bay area of Boston.


At Accent Banner we provide what luxury retail and corporate companies need by providing customization of flags and banners. We will adapt our services and the custom products we provide to meet your individual requirements. We can tailor the offerings of our company to provide multiple choices and variety in such a way that your company will be able to achieve the brand recognition you are looking for. We understand the need of the market and the recognition and appreciation your brand needs.

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