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Games of the XXVII Olympiad: Sydney 2000

Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics

Last modified: 2014-10-18 by zoltán horváth
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[Flag for Sydney 2000.]
image by Zach Harden, 26 June 2001

See also:

Other sites:

The Olympic flag

[The Olympic flag]
by Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, July 2005.
Flag adopted: 1914.

The Olympic flag was visible everywhere. It was hoisted in the Stadium for the duration of the game, it was flown at each Olympic event, in the Olympic Village, and all over Sydney. And finally, during the Closing Ceremony the Seoul flag was passed on to the Mayor of Athens, where the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad will be held in 2004.

A two-colour version of the Olympic flag

[Olympic flag in Blue and
by Mark Sensen, recoloured by Ivan Sache, 16 September 2000

The Opening Ceremony of Sydney 2000 began with a group of 120 horsemen bearing flags riding into the stadium. The riders formed a series of patterns, with flags flying, among which the Olympic Rings. Their flags were two-coloured Olympic flags: A Blue Olympic Symbol on a White field. {3}

Olympic banners

While I was looking for information about the flag of Liverpool City (NSW, AU), about which, according to the minutes of a meeting in March 2000, a Victor Lampe was going to investigate something and provide information to a Mr Durrant, I came across something about the Olympic Banners that were all over Sydney this time last year. Personally, I don't consider them flags, but since we discussed them then, from (17 July 2000):

As part of Liverpool City Council's effort to celebrate the Games in Liverpool, a number of Olympic Banners have been purchased to decorate selected streets of the Liverpool CBD. Liverpool Council is giving local businesses the opportunity to participate in the Olympic Banner Program by becoming an Olympic Banner Sponsor.
The design of the flags was inspired by the vitality of the Australian environment and its people, elegant swirling shapes and concentric forms suggest the vibrant waters of Sydney Harbour. Australian landscape forms and the energy of fire is also apparent in the design. The design suggests flickering flames and the "heat haze" effect often experienced in rural and urban areas of Australia. They are symbolic of the passion demanded for Olympic competition and streamlines, fluid movement of the athletic body in action.

I think quite a few flagpoles were erected around Sydney specifically for these banners. In suburban areas, they are now generally occupied by local council banners or Centenary of Federation banners of a similar nature.


The Greek flag

[Greek flag.]
by Edward Mooney

At each Opening Ceremony the first flag to enter the stadium in the Parade of Flags is the flag of Greece. And at each Closing Ceremony, when the Olympic flag is passed on to the next host of the Olympic Games a Greek flag is hoisted to symbolize their past. But at Sydney 2000 something unique did happen: The flag hoisted to symbolize the future of the Olympic Games was likewise a Greek flag, since Athens will be the next host of the Olympic Games.
{1, 2}

The Australian flag

[Australian flag.] by António Martins

As Australia was the host country of Sydney 2000, the Australian national flag could been seen at every Olympic event. At the Opening Ceremony during the Parade of Flags, the flag of the host country was the last to enter the stadium. And at the Closing Ceremony the Australian flag was hoisted to symbolize the host country that was passing on the Olympic flag to the next host of the Olympic Games, Athens.

The Aboriginal flag and the Torres Straight Islanders flag

Aboriginal flag

[Aboriginal flag.] by Christopher Vance

Torres Strait Islander flag

[Torres Strait Islander
flag.] by Ivan Sache

Australia does have more than one national flag. In recognition of this the Sydney 2000 organizing committee has flown the Aboriginal flag and the Torres Straight Islanders flag alongside the Australian flag over the Sydney Olympic Park, the Olympic Village, the Sydney Opera House Olympic precinct, and three other prominent locations.

The flag of the United Nations:

[Flag of the UNO.]
by Željko Heimer, 5 June 1996, modified by Jan Oskar Engene, 11 April 1998 and António Martins, 10 October 1999

In ancient times an Olympic Truce was pledged for the duration of the Olympic Games. Since 1993 the UN have restored this tradition, and every two years, before the Winter or Summer Games are held, the General Assembly of the United Nations calls on all states and all international and national organizations to observe an Olympic Truce, starting one week before the Olympic Games are opened, and lasting until one week after the Olympic Games are closed.

To signify the Olympic Truce, and to recognize that both the United Nations and the Olympic Movement strive for peace and understanding among all nations and people, at the Olympic Games the UN flag is flown at each Olympic event.

Flags Manual 2000 Sydney Olympics

Trying to find out something about the flags manual at the 2000 Sydney Olympics I realized that such a manual is available for consulting only in some Australian libraries, not for sale so far. If any one is able to take a look on them a get the book scanned the FOTW community would be really thankful.
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán, 10 February 2014

Sydney 2000 Applicant City Flag

[Sydney 2000 Applicant City Flag]
image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 May 2014

At a flag of Olympic applicant city Sydney 2000. I've seen this logo depicted on flag pins: Crossed flags showing a sponsor of Sydney's bid on one flag and the applicant city flag as the other. This, however, is the first time I see an actual flag.
Ad description: "This original Sydney 2000 Olympic Flag is a rare collectable item in brand new condition, never used. The size is 1700/800mm screenprinted on 600D woven bunting material - Defence  Force Grade." The dimensions of 17x8dm would mean the flag is longer than 1:2.
* <oly@s27sya.jpg> - Sydney applicant city, cropped and shrunk.
No permission to reduce acquired or indeed sought. For GIFfing a larger
version is available in the ad or from me.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 May 2014

The flag is the logo on a white field: "SYDNEY 2000" in black below and left of a brush stroke resembling four arches of the Sydney Opera House in blue (top left of logo), black, red, yellow and green (bottom right), with white (on black) and black (on red) dots softening the transition between black and red, and similarly yellow and red dots on the red/yellow, and green/yellow dots on the yellow/green.
The shape, as mentioned, is the Opera House, the colours those of the Olympic flag, and the dots presumably intended to resemble an indigenous art style.
[I don't have to explain the text, but in the unlikely event that the Sydney CBD wanted to follow Windale and have a locality flag complete postcode, then this design may find a new use.]
I don't remember any details of how widely flags like those being sold on ebay were flown at the time of the bid, however:
1) Paper handwavers in this design (with logo printed in the same orientation on both sides) were ubiquitous at bid events.
2) At 4:17 in a video from the time now on Youtube, you see a flag on the Harbour Bridge with same logo and also the Olympic rings underneath.
Jonathan Dixon, 30 May 2014

Are you saying Sydney Central Business District has post code 2000? (No wonder that they had all these sponsors, even as an applicant city. (Curiously, while I don't recall you giving that description, I do recall that shot. Then again, it's probably a popular shot and may have been repeated with different flags.)

[Sydney 2000 Applicant City Flag]
Sydney 2000 candidate, from Sydney Harbour Bridge.
image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 May 2014

[Sydney 2000 Applicant City Flag]
Sydney 2000 candidate, design
image located by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 May 2014

I think at the time applicant cities were already barred from using the Olympic rings, which would suggest that this is the Candidate City flag.
The design is visible slightly earlier in the video as well. No doubt that same skilled GIFfer would be able to use it to draw a candidate flag from.
Slightly before that,, the match of the logo with the silhouette of the Opera House is shown briefly.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 30 May 2014


1 International Olympic Committee Website, July 2000
2 Olympic Charter - International Olympic Committee, 12 December 1999
3 Ivan Sache, 16 September 2000
4 Jonathan Dixon, 30 August 2001.