Flag of the IChO

The flag of the International Chemistry Olympiad, as a symbol of this world international chemistry Olympiad organized for students of secondary schools all over the world, was for time first presented in 1985 at the 17th IChO in Bratislava. The logo of IChO was surrounded by the words “International Chemistry Olympiad” in the four official languages of the competition: English, German, French, and Russian.

Fig. 1: The flag of the IChO in the years 1985 – 2007

At the end of the competition, it was given as a pledge to the organizers of the following 18th IChO year from Leiden, Netherlands. Thus, a new, unwritten tradition emerged, held till today.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of IChO in Budapest, – Hungary, the organizers created a new flag. It fulfilled its purpose for the following ten years. The original flag was stored in the archive, where it still rests today. The figure 2 shows the moment when the flag is given to Anton Sirota, the director of the IChO International Information Centre.

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Fig. 2: The first flag of the IChO on the way to the archive

Fig. 3: The flag of the IChO in the years 2008 – 2017

The 50th anniversary of IChO was another milestone, which required a new flag. The new flag was presented at the IChO 2018 Opening Ceremony in Bratislava and was handed over to our French colleagues at the IChO 2018 Closing Ceremony in Prague.

The flag features the acronym “IChO” and the five Olympic flames representing the Olympic circles, as well as the flame. A chemist will recognize the characteristic colors of the flame-tests of compounds of thallium (green), calcium (orange), sodium (yellow), copper (blue-green), and strontium (red). A closer look will also reveal a burner: a timeless symbol of the lab work of alchemists and chemists.


Fig. 4: The present flag of the IChO

Compiled and edited by A. Sirota (IChO Intern. Information Centre)

Contact us

Dr. Anton Sirota|Director of the IChO IIC
NIVaM – National Institute for Education and Youth
Hálova 6, 851 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
E-mail: anton.sirota@stuba.sk|Phone: +421 907 473 367

Dr. Martin Putala|Department of Organic Chemistry
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Comenius University, Bratislava, Ilkovičova 6, Slovakia
E-mail: putala@fns.uniba.sk|Phone: +421 918 669 092