After Ginny Thrasher won the first gold medal of the Rio Olympics over Du Li and Yi Siling of China, Olympic officials raised incorrect Chinese flags to the rafter during the medal ceremony. See those flags up there? Notice any differences between them and the real Chinese flag below?
The small stars on the flags that featured in the Olympics are all at the same angle, whereas the stars on the official flag are all tilted so that they point back towards the center of the larger star. Chinese Central Television first reported on it, via the Wall Street Journal:
“Some attentive web users have discovered that the five-star red flag used at this Olympics appear problematic,” state broadcaster China Central Television said on its official Weibo microblog. “The national flag is the symbol of a nation! No problems are permissible!”
Olympic officials apologized for the mixup, while noting that Chinese Olympic officials did approve the flags:
“We do understand that there is a problem with the flag,” said Mario Andrada, Rio 2016 Olympic Games executive communications director, on Monday. “It’s very small. You have to be very familiar with the Chinese flag to understand that. However, we need to correct it.”
Ironically, the flags themselves were made in China.