The Olympics date back to ancient Greek times, but the Olympic logo we know and recognize today has been around less than one hundred years. Frenchmen Pierre de Coubertin designed the logo in 1913 for the Paris Congress of the Olympic Movement. The logo was first found on a flag and had five interlocking rings–one for each continent represented in the Olympic Movement. Six colors were included as well, black, yellow, blue, red, green, and white, which were colors present in each nation represented by the organization. No ring is “assigned” to any particular continent.
The popular account that de Coubertin found stones carved with an ancient Olympic logo which he immitated in the modern rendition is false, according to an article published in Olympic Review Magazine in 1992. Though carved stones were found bearing the logo, they were created for the torch relay from Greece to Germany in 1936. They were later mistaken for ancient artifacts, according to the article.
In addition to the Olympic logo, most host cities also design their own logo as well. Here is an interesting site that has many of the past cities’ logos, dating back to 1924. Though it’s not a complete collection, it is fun to see how well the logos embody the era in which they appeared.
Source: International Olympic Committee