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The Olympic Park Esplanade Is Getting An Update With Scannable QR Codes For Its Flags

The park says it wants to reflect global changes since the 1976 Olypics in Montreal.

Forty-five years ago, on July 17, thousands of world-class athletes gathered in Montreal for the opening ceremony of the 1976 Summer Olympics. To commemorate Montreal's Olympic Games, the Olympic Park is launching a new memorial project on its Esplanade — and it will involve augmented reality (AR) to make it more interactive.

The project will focus on the areas where the flags of each country that participated in the Montreal Summer Games are held. In a statement, the Olympic Park said that not all of the participating countries' flags can be displayed due to several flagpoles being removed and flags that are "non-compliant."

It also said that the flags of several African countries are missing due to the international movement to end apartheid in South Africa, which the Park wants to explain to visitors in some way.

According to its announcement, the changes to the Esplanade will reflect "the historical reality of 1976 and the geopolitical changes that have occurred since, in an educational, contextual and pedagogical perspective."

The Park wants to leverage AR to do that. It plans to use QR codes near the countries' flags that visitors can scan on smartphone cameras for more information on the changes that have happened in the world since the Montreal Olympic Games, and it plans to update the information every year to reflect ongoing global changes.

"In 1976, 94 countries met here in Montreal to compete in sports events. The geopolitical context of the time has since evolved and is no longer the same for many of them, 45 years later," said a statement by Michel Labrecque, president and CEO of the Olympic Park.

"It is therefore a great opportunity to talk about history and geography, especially with young people, and especially on the anniversaries of the Montreal Olympic Games."

The Olympic Park is aiming to have the project completed by July 2022.