Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Red...Crystal?

Is that a semaphore flag or are you just
coming to dig me out of the rubble?

To avoid offending the religious sensibilities of earthquake and tsunami victims worldwide, the International Committee of the Red Cross together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies unveiled the Red Crystal.
The Red Crystal has joined the Red Cross and Crescent as an official symbol of the world's best-known humanitarian organisation.

The symbols are recognised under the Geneva Conventions as protective signs for relief workers.

The crystal - a red diamond on a white background - is meant to be a neutral emblem for states objecting to the cross or crescent on religious grounds.

It was adopted as a compromise to allow Israel to join last year.

"The red crystal reaffirms the determination of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to... enhance its strength and credibility," the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a joint statement.

Israel's own relief society, Magen David Adom, had been seeking membership since the 1930s but its red Star of David emblem was not accepted under the Geneva conventions.
Now for the punch line: The symbol for the Red Cross has nothing to do with religion. It was adopted as an inversion of the colors of the Swiss flag to honor its Swiss founders.

1 comment:

dizzyfatplonka said...

It makes you laugh that people being helped after suffering earthquakes and tsunamis should be fussy about a flag anyways, the crystal represents new age beliefs more than anything.

That flag though is pretty bland!