Olympic medal ceremonies have been marked by controversy at various intervals of social upheaval. While marked by an unusual demonstration, the 1952 ceremony in Helsinki, Finland was more a comedic stunt than a political statement. This Olympic flag was presented to Women’s Diving Gold Medalist Pat McCormick (who replaced it with a pair of underwear) for her efforts. Measuring 58 x 34”, the canvas-like banner features multi-colored Olympic rings sewn in twill. The spine and grommets remain intact. LOA from Pat McCormick. More on our website.
As for the ceremony, after McCormick was presented with this flag, she climbed the flagpole and hoisted a pair of underwear belonging to U.S. Olympic Committee president Avery Brundage. Brundage was unpopular with U.S. Olympic athletes and McCormick served as the ringleader in a plot to break into his hotel room and take a pair of his underwear for display on a flag pole.