1988 Summer Olympics national flag bearers
During the Parade of Nations portion of the 1988 Summer Olympics opening ceremony, athletes from each country participating in the Olympics paraded in the arena, preceded by their flag. The flag was borne by a sportsperson from that country chosen either by the National Olympic Committee or by the athletes themselves to represent their country.
As the nation of the first modern Olympic Games, Greece entered the stadium first; whereas, the host nation South Korea marched last. Other countries entered in alphabetical order in the language of the host country (Korean), according with tradition and IOC guidelines. The collation method used is based on the names as written in Hangul, a traditional Korean alphabet.
Whilst most countries entered under their short names, a few entered under more formal or alternative names, mostly due to political and naming disputes. The Republic of China (commonly known as Taiwan) entered with the compromised name and flag of "Chinese Taipei" ("차이니스 타이페이") under 타 so that they did not enter together with conflicting People's Republic of China (commonly known as China), which entered as "중화인민공화국" under 중. The Republic of the Congo entered as the "People's Republic of the Congo" ("콩고") under 콩 while the Democratic Republic of Congo entered under its former name, Zaire (자이르). Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Israel changed their order in consideration of the hostile relationship between the two countries.
A record of 160 nations entered the stadium with a combined total of 8,391 athletes. Eight nations made their Olympic debut, namely Aruba, American Samoa, Brunei, Cook Islands, Maldives, Vanuatu, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and South Yemen. Cuba and North Korea boycotted the games for the second consecutive time. Ethiopia, Albania and the Seychelles did not respond to the invitations sent by the IOC, while Madagascar and Nicaragua did not participate due to athletic and financial considerations.
The following is a list of each country's announced flag bearer. The names are given in their official designations by the IOC.
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