[UPDATED: 8:30 p.m.] With latest reports that the flags were made in Brazil.
The first day of the Olympics was not ideal for Team China, but they still managed to gain several silver and bronze medals. As Du Li and Yi Siling stepped up on the podium to receive their medals for the 10-meter air rifle event, observers noticed something off about the Chinese flags raised in the background. The smaller stars on the flag displayed in Rio were parallel to each other, but they are actually supposed to be oriented towards the larger star at a 36 degree angle.
Chinese netizens quickly picked up on the imperfection and unleashed their fury online. Many echoed the statement made by one fan, “A flag is a country’s symbol, we can’t tolerate any problems.”
Earlier reports that all flags for the Rio Olympics were supplied by Chinese companies have proven to be false. A spokesperson for the Rio Organizing Committee spoke about the flawed flags earlier today, stated that they will be replaced quickly and added that the flags were not produced in China, but locally made in Brazil, according to Sina News.
The confusion seems to have came from a CCTV report last week that bragged about all the made in China items that would be used in the Rio Olympics, including several metro cars (hopefully with no cracks), weightlifting equipment, stuffed animal mascots, walkie talkies, volleyballs and air-conditioning. The report stated that: “All the national flags that will be hoisted during the ceremony are made in China.” Not so, it seems.
Initial reports from Chinese media said that the manufacturing company was Zhejiang Jinyu Textile Company, NetEase reports. However, the company has since denied the accusations, stating that “We are Chinese, how would we manufacture a faulty flag?” The company has also added that they produced small flags for fans to purchase, but not the flags in the awards ceremonies.
The Rio Olympic Committee has stated, “All the flags used by the Rio 2016 committee are approved by the National Olympic Committees.” They are working with the Chinese delegation to sort out the issue and get the correct flags, Reuters reports.
Well, it’s not necessarily about the flag, but who’s standing in front of it right?
By Sarah Lin
[Images via CCTV]