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NY Times: “Rings of Dissent“:

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic Games, probably didn’t have this in mind when he came up with a logo of interlocking rings in 1913, a logo incorporated into the Olympic flag in 1920. The rings stand for the five continents (North and South America share a ring, and Antarctica lacks eligible bipeds). But how tempting those rings are when it comes to protest, particularly against China, host of the 2008 Games. Alterations of the rings have highlighted grievances as the Olympic torch has made its way from city to city in the last couple of weeks: Free Tibet; stop the genocide in Darfur; independence for the Uighurs in Western China.