Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The History of the Emblems of the Red Cross

History of the emblems

Emblems in use

[edit] The Red Cross

The Red Cross emblem was officially approved in Geneva in 1863[1]

The Red Cross flag is not to be confused with the St George's Cross which is the flag of England, Barcelona, Freiburg and several other places. In order to avoid this confusion the protected symbol is sometimes referred to as the "Greek Red Cross"; that term is also used in United States law to describe the Red Cross. The red cross of the St George cross extends to the edge of the flag, whereas the red cross on the Red Cross flag does not.

[edit] The Red Crescent

The Red Crescent emblem was first used by ICRC volunteers during the armed conflict between Russia and Turkey (1877–1878). The symbol was officially adopted in 1929, and so far 25 Islamic states have recognized it.

[edit] The Red Crystal

On December 8, 2005, partly in response to growing pressure to accommodate Magen David Adom as a full member of the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement,[citation needed] a new emblem (officially the Third Protocol Emblem, but more commonly known as the Red Crystal) was adopted by an amendment of the Geneva Conventions known as Protocol III.

[edit] Recognized emblems in disuse

[edit] The Red Lion and Sun

The Red Lion and Sun Society of Iran was established in 1922 and admitted to the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement in 1923.[2] However, some report the symbol was introduced at Geneva in 1864[citation needed][3] as a counter example to the crescent and cross used by two of Iran's rivals, the Ottoman and the Russian empires. Though that claim is inconsistent with the Red Crescent's history, that history also suggests that the Red Lion and Sun, like the Red Crescent, may have been conceived during the 1877-1878 war between Russia and Turkey.

In 1980, because of the association of the emblem with the Shah, the newly proclaimed Islamic Republic of Iran replaced the Red Lion and Sun with the Red Crescent, consistent with most other Muslim nations. Though the Red Lion and Sun has now fallen into disuse, Iran has in the past reserved the right to take it up again at any time; the Geneva Conventions continue to recognize it as an official emblem, and that status was confirmed by Protocol III even as it added the Red Crystal.[citation needed]

[edit] Unrecognized emblems

[edit] The Red Star of David (Magen David Adom)

For over 50 years, Israel requested the addition of a Red Star of David, arguing that since Christian and Muslim emblems were recognized, the corresponding Jewish emblem should be as well. This emblem is the one used by Magen David Adom (MDA), the national first-aid society of Israel, but it is still not recognized by the Geneva Conventions as a protected symbol.

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