August 7, 2016 / 5:45 PM / 3 years ago

Rio 2016 may replace Chinese flags after furor over flaws

Aug 6, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The American flag flies above the Chinese flags after Virginia Thrasher took the gold medal in the 10m air rifle competition at Olympic Shooting Centre. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The Rio Olympic Committee is looking into replacing China’s flags being used at medal ceremonies after Chinese citizens complained about flaws, the committee said.

Local Chinese media reported that the stars on the Chinese flags raised during the swimming and shooting medal ceremonies were incorrectly positioned, leading to complaints in China.

“All the flags used by the Rio 2016 committee are approved by the National Olympic Committees. We are working with the Chinese delegation to find a solution to this issue,” a spokeswoman for the committee told Reuters on Sunday.

The Chinese Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China has six medals so far at the Games. It clinched its first gold medal of the 2016 Olympics earlier in the day with first-time Olympian Zhang Mengxue’s win at the women’s 10-meter air pistol event.

During the medal ceremonies, some Chinese internet users pointed out that the stars on the flags raised were parallel with each other. The correct Chinese flag features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle tilted to point toward the larger one.

“A flag is a country’s symbol, we can’t tolerate any problems,” one online commentator quoted by Chinese media said.

There are 306 Olympic medal events, and the committee’s spokeswoman said events with a competing Chinese team would generally keep a flag in the wings. China’s 416-strong athlete delegation are competing in 210 events over 26 sports.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Bill Rigby

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