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The 11th Olympic Winter Games: Sapporo 1972

Last modified: 2023-06-10 by zachary harden
Keywords: sapporo | winter olympics | olympic games |
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[Flag for Sapporo Olympics 1972] image by Zachary Harden, 30 August 2017

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Sapporo, Japan, 1972
The 1972 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XI Olympic Winter Games (第十一回オリンピック冬季競技大会 Dai Jūichi-kai Orinpikku Tōkikyōgi Taikai), was held from February 3 to February 13, 1972 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the first Winter Games to occur outside of Europe and North America and it will be one of two Winter Games that Japan will play host (Nagano was host in 1998).
Zachary Harden, 30 August 2017

The Logo and Flag

For the logo itself, the Nippon Design Council at shows a brief
summary of what went into the logo. The designer Kazumasa Nagai, Graphic designer and Senior Executive Advisor of Nippon Design Center, was a part of the 1964 Tokyo Design Committee and participated in the contest to design the logo for those games. Using the winning design of Yusaku Kamekura as his template, he created an emblem that used the Hinomaru, a snowflake (both to symbolize winter but also similar to "First Snow" family crest (kamon) pattern, it represents traditional Japan) and the use of the Olympic Rings and "Sapporo 72" brought a feel that both 1964 Tokyo and 1972 Sapporo, while distinct events, were all together in the sense of a rising Japan. Also the logo was three separate parts that could be rearranged, which we will see in the flag, and makes the logo fluid according to the NDC. According to the Official Report of the 1972 Winter Games, this logo competition was closed to eight designers and Nagai's design was adopted at the fourth meeting of the Organizing Committee held in December of 1966. Like the 1964 Tokyo Games, there was a graphic design manual that showed how the logo is supposed to be used.

For the flag, at are two flag like objects present at this museum in Sapporo. However, looking at the Official Report and for any evidence of these flags or banners being used in the time frame, I have not found anything. From thumbnails of the official design guide, there are banners used but do not match anything at the museum. However, what is consistent is that the colors used for the three sections (white/red for the first section, blue/white for the second and white/blue for the third). I drew both flags and will present them here.
Zachary Harden, 30 August 2017

The flags used at the opening can be seen at Olympic Games, Japan, Hokkaido, and Sapporo. The Games flag is not even there.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg,, 18 October 2017

[Flag for Sapporo Olympics 1972] image located by Nozomi Kariyasu, 18 October 2017

I found a Sapporo Olympic Games pennant on Yahoo Japan auction for sale.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 18 October 2017

Vertical Flag

[Flag for Sapporo Olympics 1972] image by Zachary Harden, 30 August 2017