The organizers of the Rio Olympics rushed to obtain new Chinese flags after spectators spotted slightly-altered imitations flying at the Rio Games.
The standard leading the Chinese Olympians into the opening ceremonies, as well as most of the banners hung after the 13 (and counting) Chinese athletes received their medals, displayed the incorrect design.
— Patrick Yuen (@PatrickYuen_36) August 9, 2016
The Chinese flag features a big star that stands for the Communist Party surrounded by four smaller stars that symbolize the four classes of Chinese people. The yellow on the stars represents race and the red field, as it does in the flags of all socialist nations from Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia, means blood.
What a point of each of the four smaller stars aiming at the bigger star means remains a mystery. But the fact that the Olympics featured these four stars in the semicircle not tilted toward the big star bothered the Chinese. State media called the gaffe “a source of public disappointment” for Chinese people.
“We do understand that there is a problem with the flag,” Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the Rio Games, said Monday. “It’s very small. You have to be very familiar with the Chinese flag to understand that. However, we need to correct it.”
But the Brazilians can’t do it alone. They outsourced the initial flag job to—Where else?—China.
— Patrick Yuen (@PatrickYuen_36) August 8, 2016
China took pride in producing much of the souvenirs and equipment for the Olympics before the games. One report from a government-owned news service boasted: “All the national flags that will be hoisted during the [opening] ceremony are made in China.” But in the aftermath of the flag flap, China corrects the record or perhaps engages in revisionist history akin to it teaching students that the South invaded the North to start the Korean War or Communists caused Japan’s defeat in World War II.
If the original flag represents the centrality of Communism in Chinese life, the alteration symbolizes the shoddy work that invariably comes by working as a wage slave for the government established to abolish wage slavery. But the Chinese say they didn’t make the flags they said they made, really they didn’t. Political power, as Chairman Mao kinda sorta said, grows out of the the bottom of the barrel by puling a fast one.