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Red Cross

One might be looking for the Anarchist Red Cross.
The terms Red Cross and Red Crescent are often used as short names for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

The Red Cross is a symbol which under the Geneva conventions is to be placed on humanitarian[?] and medical vehicles and buildings to protect them from military attack. The Red Cross flag is not to be confused with the St George cross which is the flag of England, Barcelona, Freiburg and several other places. 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.

Originally only the Red Cross (being the flag of Switzerland reversed) was to be used as a symbol of the Geneva conventions, but Muslim nations (primarily the Ottoman Empire, later Turkey) objected to this, and as a result an additional symbol (the Red Crescent) was to be provided for. Later Persia (now Iran) managed to have a red lion and sun (the lion and sun being the symbol of Persia) added to the list of available symbols; though the symbol no longer being used by Iran has fallen into disuse in favour of the Red Crescent, Iran has in the past reserved the right to take it up again at any time.

Israel then requested the addition of a Red Star of David, arguing that since Christian and Muslim symbols were recognized their symbol should be as well. This symbol is the one currently used by the Israeli Red Cross, but it is not recognized under international humanitarian law. The Red Cross movement has rejected this Israeli request, since if the Jews were to be given another symbol, there would be no end to the number of religious or other groups claiming a symbol for themselves. That would detract from the original intention of the Red Cross symbol, which was to be a single symbol to mark vehicles and buildings protected on humanitarian grounds. In response, the Red Cross movement is in the process of developing a new symbol, which will be without any religious connontations and also easily recognizable on the battlefield; once the Red Cross movement has adopted the symbol it will then be presented to the State Parties to the Geneva Conventions for amendment of the treaties.

Use of the Red Cross

As provided for by the Geneva Convention, the red cross symbol is to be used only to denote the following:

  • facilities for the care of injured and sick armed forces members;
  • armed forces medical personnel and equipment;
  • military chaplains;
  • Red Cross groups such as the International Committee of the Red Cross; the League of Red Cross Societies; and the various national Red Cross societies including the American Red Cross.

The Geneva Convention obliged its signatories to prevent the unauthorized use of the name and emblem in wartime and peacetime in order to ensure universal respect for the symbol.

Nevertheless, the symbol, in some different colour, is an international symbol indicating first aid, medical supplies, and the like.

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