Today is the Olympic Day, which was established in 1948 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to celebrate the birth of the Modern Olympic Games at the Sorbonne, Paris. It is a celebration of sport, health, and being together.*
With this year’s slogan of ‘Change Creation and Fusion’, on July 10, the 54th International Chemistry Olympiad, an event for young chemical enthusiasts around the world, will take place in Tianjin, China. This event not only is a competition, but also with a wide range of wonderful activities for everyone to get involved.
As the symbol of IChO, its flag, can be first traced back in 1985 at the 17th IChO in Bratislava. The logo of IChO was surrounded by the words ‘International Chemistry Olympiad’ in the four official languages of the competition: English, German, French, and Russian. At the end of the competition, it was given as a pledge to the organizers of the following year from Leiden, Netherlands. Thus, a new unwritten tradition emerged and was passed on till today.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of IChO in Budapest, Hungary, the organizers created a new flag. It fulfilled its mission for the following ten years. The original flag was stored in the archive today.
The 50th Anniversary of IChO was another milestone, and as a result, the current flag was presented at the opening ceremony in Bratislava and handed over to France at the Closing Ceremony in Prague.
This flag is now what we see below. The flag features the acronym ‘IChO’ and the five Olympic flames representing the Olympic circles, as well as the flame. A chemist will recognise the characteristic colours of the flame-tests of compounds of thallium (green), calcium (orange), sodium (yellow), copper (blue-green), and strontium (red). A closer look will also reveal a burner: a timeless symbol of the lab work of alchemists and chemists.*
*Acknowledgements: a special thank you to Prof. Martin PUTALA for providing all related information on the topic of the IChO flag.