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Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
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Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
-- RESTRICTIONS IN THE USE OF THE EMBLEM.
[p.324] The corresponding provision in the 1929 Convention (Article 24
) was most unsatisfactory. It did not make the fundamental distinction between the two uses of the red cross emblem, which is absolutely necessary if one is to grasp the real significance of the emblem and solve the complex problems there are in regulating its use. This distinction, obvious as it seems, was put into words only recently; the fact that it was ignored long obscured the whole question and misled a number of people, especially during the Diplomatic Conference of 1929.
There are two distinct uses of the red cross on a white ground -- uses so fundamentally different that their only common element is the outward form of the sign. In the first case, when the emblem has its essential significance, it is the visible sign of the protection accorded by the Convention to persons or things. It is then a virtually constitutive element of protection under the Convention, and we shall refer to it for [p.325] short as the ' protective sign '. It must be large in proportion to the object it is to mark.
We have advisedly used the qualification ' virtually, ' because marking is not in fact a sine qua non of protection. A medical unit which does not display the sign openly is still protected in theory. It is clear, however, that the protection can be effective only in so far as the enemy has recognized the unit for what it is -- in case of occupation, for example. (1)
In the second case, the sign is ' purely indicatory. ' It is only used to show that a person or object is connected with the Red Cross, without implying the protection of the Convention or any intention to invoke it. It is, for example, used in this way to draw public attention to premises or publications. The emblem should then, as a rule, be small in size, and the conditions under which it is used should preclude all risk of its being confused with the protective sign.
Failure to recognize the distinction led the 1929 Diplomatic Conference to decide that, apart from their work with the Medical Service, National Red Cross Societies should only be entitled to use the sign in time of peace. This amounted to saying that on the outbreak of war a National Society must prevent the use of the sign by all persons, and on all buildings or objects, not used for the military wounded or attached to the Medical Service of the armed forces. In practice, this stipulation usually remained a dead letter.
Article 44 draws a clear distinction between the protective and the purely indicatory sign, and successfully reconciles the two needs which had become apparent. For it surrounds the use of the protective sign with the strictest safeguards, and at the same time allows National Red Cross Societies to make extensive use of an emblem which has become popular and to which they have an obvious right.
PARAGRAPH 1 -- THE PROTECTIVE SIGN
1. ' Persons and objects protected. '
As we have said, it is when the emblem has protective force that it assumes its primary importance; it is then known as the "emblem of the Convention" It was through the 1864 Geneva Convention that the emblem entered into positive international law, and the Convention has [p.326] given it its high significance, making it the symbol of the immunity accorded to wounded and sick members of the armed forces.
Paragraph 1 lays down that the distinctive sign may not be employed -- with the exception of cases mentioned in the following paragraphs, which mainly concern the indicatory sign -- either in time of peace or in time of war, except to mark medical units and establishments, personnel and material protected by the Convention or by other Conventions dealing with similar matters.
While Articles 38
stipulate that the sign of the red cross is the emblem of the Medical Services of armed forces and that it should appear on everything connected with them, Article 44 specifies that it should appear on nothing else. All use of the sign other than as laid down in the Geneva Conventions is strictly forbidden. "The prohibition is absolute, and is not one that can be lifted by this or that authority", wrote Louis Renault. (2) Neither Governments nor National Societies can get around this prohibition; it binds them as it does individuals -- a fact which was again stressed by authoritative opinion at the 1929 Conference. (3)
Similarly, paragraph 1 provides -- always with the exception of cases mentioned in the following paragraphs -- that the words "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross" (4) may only indicate (5) the buildings, personnel or material protected by the Conventions.
The second sentence of the paragraph confirms that the same provisions naturally apply to the red crescent and the red lion and sun, for countries using these emblems.
The following are entitled to the protective sign under the present Convention:
(a) Mobile medical units and fixed medical establishments of the armed
forces and of aid societies (Articles 19
); (b) Medical units of neutral societies assisting a belligerent (Articles
); (c) Permanent medical personnel and chaplains of the armed forces and of
relief societies, including administrative staff (Articles 24
); [p.327] (d) Medical personnel of neutral societies assisting a belligerent
); (e) Auxiliary medical personnel of the armed forces, while on medical
duty (wearing the special armlet) (Articles 25
); (f) Medical equipment of the armed forces and of aid societies (Articles 33
); (g) Medical convoys and transport (Articles 35
); (h) Medical aircraft (Article 36
In addition, the Draft Agreement relating to Hospital Zones and Localities, annexed to the Convention, lays down in Article 6
that the zones and localities in question are to be marked by means of red crosses on a white background. The Draft is not binding, however, its entry into force being subject to the conclusion of an agreement between the Powers concerned. (6)
Although the red cross emblem is essentially bound up with the First Convention, and its use is most fully dealt with there, the Second and Fourth Conventions also have provisions concerning it.
The following are entitled to the protective sign under the Second Geneva Convention of 1949:
(a) Hospital ships utilized by States, relief societies and private
persons (Articles 22
); (b) Hospital ships utilized by relief societies and private persons from
neutral countries and assisting a belligerent (Articles 25
); (c) Lifeboats of hospitals ships, coastal lifeboats and all small craft used by the Medical Service (Articles 27
); (d) Fixed coastal installations used by lifeboats (Articles 27
); (e) Sick-bays of ships (Articles 28 and 41
); (f) Medical and religious personnel and crews of hospital ships (Articles 36
); (g) Medical and religious personnel of the navy and mercantile marine
); (h) Medical equipment (Article 41
); (i) Medical aircraft (Article 39
[p.328] And the following, under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949:
(a) Civilian hospitals (Article 18
); (b) Staff of civilian hospitals (Article 20
); (c) Convoys of vehicles or hospital trains on land or specially provided vessels at sea, conveying wounded and sick civilians (Article 21
); (d) Civilian medical aircraft (Article 22
In addition, the Draft Agreement relating to Hospital and Safety Zones and Localities, annexed to the Fourth Convention, provides, in Article 6
, that zones reserved exclusively for the wounded and sick may be marked by means of the red cross emblem. The observation made above in regard to the Draft Agreement annexed to the First Convention also applies here.
2. ' Organizations to benefit. '
What organizations are entitled to the protective sign under the First Convention, which we are examining here?
In the first place, the Medical Service of the armed forces. Even before the red cross on a white ground became the emblem of the Red Cross qua institution, the Convention had adopted it as the international sign for military Medical Services.
Secondly, recognized aid societies which assist the Medical Service of the armed forces under the terms of Article 26
. These are first and foremost the National Red Cross Societies -- happily mentioned explicitly in the 1949 text. But, quite apart from the Medical Service, the Red Cross Societies have no monopoly of the distinctive emblem. Governments may authorize other societies to assist the Medical Service, and these societies, even when they have no connection with the National Red Cross, are entitled both in peacetime and in wartime to use the red cross sign. There are, in fact, only a few such societies. Examples which we have mentioned are the Knights of Malta and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
The last sentence of the paragraph under review emphasizes the fact -- and it was necessary to do so -- that Red Cross Societies and other recognized societies are entitled to the protective sign only within the limits set out in the paragraph. This means that such societies may [p.329] employ the ' protective ' sign only for that part of their personnel and material which assists the official Medical Service, is employed exclusively for the same purpose as the latter, and is subject to military laws and regulations -- or, in other words, which forms, for practical purposes, part of the Medical Service. Even then, they can use it only with the consent of the military authority.
It follows that the directors and staff of a National Red Cross Society are not entitled to the protective sign, and cannot wear the armlet, except in so far as they themselves are protected by the Geneva Convention. For that, their duties must contribute to the care of the military wounded and sick, and correspond to those set out in Article 24
. Otherwise, as we shall see in paragraph 2, they are only entitled to wear the purely indicatory sign. Similarly, the red cross cannot be painted on the roof of a building belonging to the Society, unless the building in question is protected under the Convention, that is to say, unless it is a hospital or a store containing medical equipment for the wounded and sick of the armed forces. (7)
Under Article 44, paragraph 3, the international Red Cross organizations and their duly authorized personnel are permitted to use the red cross emblem at all times. As we shall see below (8) the sign will then have protective value when circumstances and the nature of the work require.
It may be noted, finally, that according to the letter of Article 44 the right to use the words "Red Cross" or "Geneva Cross" is bound up with the right to employ the emblem itself. A Medical Service would therefore appear to have the same right to use these designations as a National Red Cross Society.
This is no doubt due to a drafting error, and is completely illogical. The names in question should be reserved exclusively to Red Cross bodies. In any case it is difficult to see how the Medical Service would in practice have any reason for employing these names.
[p.330] PARAGRAPH 2 -- THE PURELY INDICATORY SIGN
1. ' Nature and limits as to use '
As stated above, the red cross emblem has a purely indicatory value when it is used to show that a person or object has a connection with the Red Cross, without implying protection under the Geneva Convention or any intention to invoke it. The sign should then be small in proportion to the person or object, and the conditions under which it is used should preclude all risk of confusion with the sign which affords immunity against enemy action.
In view of the profound difference between the two uses of the emblem, it may well be asked whether at the outset it would not have been better to adopt two distinct emblems; one as the visible sign of the protection conferred by the Convention, the other as the flag of the National Red Cross Societies for their work as a whole. We have seen some of the drawbacks to having one sign with two distinct meanings, and shall see more when we examine the question further. But, at the same time, the advantages must be kept in mind. The red cross has become, in people's minds, the universal symbol of impartial aid to all who suffer, and the welfare work done by the Red Cross, under the cover of the emblem, amongst the population as a whole, benefits by the standing the emblem has acquired as a symbol of immunity. Conversely, esteem for the Red Cross heightens the prestige of the protective sign.
In any case, it is obviously now too late to think of introducing a new symbol; but care must be taken that the distinction between the two uses of the red cross is always clearly drawn.
Under the 1929 Convention, the National Red Cross Societies should, as soon as war broke out, have removed the sign from every person, building or object not devoted to the military wounded; this provision has for the most part remained a dead letter. The Proceedings of the 1929 Conference show that the Plenipotentiaries had no intention of preventing National Societies from using the sign for their so-called "peacetime activities", when these continued during wartime. The provisions they adopted are nevertheless formal.
Once a distinction had at last been drawn in 1949, in the Convention [p.331] itself, between the protective sign and the purely indicatory marking, use of the indicatory sign could be extended without any danger.
National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Societies may in peacetime, in conformity with their national legislation, make use of the name and emblem of the red cross for their activities other than assistance to the Medical Service of the armed forces. In wartime -- and the innovation is highly important -- they may continue to use the emblem for these activities, but only under conditions such that it cannot be considered as implying the protection of the Convention.
There must be no possibility of the enemy being confused and attributing protective value to a sign which is merely indicatory; the emblem must be comparatively small in size and may not be placed on armlets or on the roofs of buildings. This latter provision avoids the risk of confusion between persons bearing the indicatory sign and the medical personnel of the armed forces, or between buildings not entitled to protection, belonging to the Red Cross, and medical establishments which have immunity under the Convention.
These restrictions apply only in wartime. National Societies cannot, however, be too strongly urged to employ the smaller sign even in peacetime for activities other than relief to the sick and wounded of the armed forces. Should war break out, they would then be spared the task of reducing the size of the signs, a costly process, difficult to carry out at short notice, and which, if not done properly, might lead to serious incidents.
For practical reasons, the Conference rejected a proposal that it should lay down the maximum dimensions of the indicatory sign. It merely stipulated that it should be comparatively small in size -- that is, small in proportion to the protective sign used for any given category of persons or objects. Common sense must decide the actual size. Thus, a flag one metre square (9), placed over the door of a building, would pass as an indicatory sign; an emblem of the same size, displayed on a vehicle would appear to be a protective sign and would have to be reduced to, say, 20 cm. square. An emblem of this latter size would in turn be too large to be worn by individuals, who would have to rest content with a sign one or two centimetres across.
Although recognized relief societies other than National Red Cross [p.332] Societies can use the protective sign, only the latter are entitled to the indicatory sign, which marks their connection with the Red Cross.
The Convention, in granting the emblem to National Red Cross Societies for activities other than those with the Medical Services of armed forces, stipulates that such activities must be "in conformity with the principles laid down by the International Red Cross Conferences". These words were not added without reason; they provide the solution to a problem which was discussed at length during the preliminary work of revision.
The activities of National Societies, limited at first to caring for the sick and wounded of the armed forces, were later extended until they embraced practically all forms of human suffering. But their work was always that of aiding the direct victims of war or social disaster. During the Second World War, however, Red Cross Societies in certain countries entered a new field, undertaking work of a social or patriotic nature, such as sending parcels to men at the front, organizing welfare schemes and recreation for the troops, teaching army personnel to swim, helping the families of enlisted men, and so forth. For the first time the Red Cross looked after persons who were not really victims of war.
Without wishing to criticize such eminently useful activities, the International Committee pointed out that they might imperceptibly bring the Red Cross to cover with its name and emblem work which, in the last analysis, was only remotely connected with its real character and essential mission.
It soon became clear that the field of Red Cross action could not be defined by listing activities permitted and forbidden. Each individual case -- each new operation envisaged -- would have to be considered on its merits, applying fixed criteria. The fundamental principles of the Red Cross, as defined by past and future International Red Cross Conferences, offer the desired yardstick.
2. ' The different uses '
The purely indicatory uses of the symbol may be classified as the ' appurtenant, ' the ' decorative, ' and the ' associative. '
A. ' The appurtenant emblem. ' -- This shows that persons or objects belong to a Red Cross organization. Reproduced on flags, door plates [p.333] or number plates, it indicates Red Cross buildings or vehicles. As a badge on a nurse's head-dress or worn in a buttonhole, it distinguishes the staff of the organization. It is used as a stamp or printed mark on publications, writing-paper and parcels. The emblem is, as a rule, accompanied by the name of the organization which uses it.
While active members of National Red Cross Societies must wear the badge, the question arises of whether it may also be worn by the numerous members or supporters of a Society who merely pay a small yearly subscription, without any actual service being required of them.
Only very rarely does municipal legislation deal with this question. National laws in most cases merely grant the use of the emblem to a Red Cross Society. Sometimes it is to be reserved "for the members"; sometimes the context makes it clear that members doing humanitarian work are alone intended. In some countries, legislation is more precise; for instance, the New Zealand law provides that the button and brooch may be worn only by members in uniform. In Germany, members of the Society are forbidden by law to use the emblem for private purposes.
The present-day practice of Red Cross Societies varies considerably from one country to another. Some Societies forbid their members to wear the emblem; others only allow them to display it in certain circumstances, as, for example, during Red Cross assemblies. On the other hand, certain Societies allow their members to wear it as they think fit, some even selling it in the streets in return for subscriptions.
The question must be considered in the light of general Red Cross principles. There is no doubt that the general tendency of the regulations governing the emblem is to reserve it for use in circumstances in which its essential significance, as a symbol of impartial charitable aid, is involved. The XIIth International Red Cross Conference (Geneva, 1925) adopted a Resolution, confirmed at Brussels in 1930, which recommended "that National Red Cross Societies should authorize their members to wear a Red Cross brooch only when engaged in their duties; this measure should, in particular, be very strictly enforced in regard to members of the Junior Red Cross". Paul Des Gouttes wrote: "The emblem belongs to the Society and not to individual members... Its use by these should not be tolerated except when they are actually on duty" (10). The Committee can only endorse this view, and recommend National [p.334] Societies not to allow the emblem to be worn by non-active members, except possibly during meetings of the Society.
B. ' The decorative emblem. ' -- Red Cross Societies use the decorative emblem on their medals and other awards, on publicity material such as posters or pamphlets, and for the interior decoration of their premises. In the last instance, the emblem may be large in size, despite the usual rule. At Conferences, a huge red cross flag almost invariably hangs above the platform. As this flag is displayed inside the building, no one can possibly imagine that its purpose is to secure protection against aircraft or artillery action.
C. ' The associative emblem. ' -- This name is given to the red cross when it is used for first-aid posts and ambulances which may have no connection with the National Red Cross Society, but are authorized by it to display the sign. This case will be considered in connection with paragraph 4.
3. ' The appearance of the sign '
The protective sign, consisting of a red cross on a white ground, as prescribed by the Geneva Convention, should always be displayed in its original form, without alteration or addition. It is highly desirable that this should also apply -- with the exception of the name of the organization, which may be used -- to the appurtenant emblem, as it symbolizes the unique character and inherent dignity of the Red Cross as an institution. Further, to preserve its full significance in the public mind and to avoid confusion, the emblem should not be coupled with that of any institution not connected with the Red Cross.
In order to retain its full power of suggestion, the associative emblem should also be kept, as far as possible, in its original form.
The artist's imagination has, on the other hand, been allowed free rein in most countries in the treatment of the decorative emblem. The red cross is sometimes cut out and set in gold or accompanied by a motto. This need cause no misgiving, provided that restraint and good taste are observed, and that the decorative emblem alone is concerned.
[p.335] 4. ' Prestige of the emblem '
Discussion of the measures to be taken to prevent misuse of the emblem (11) comes naturally under Article 53
. It is not sufficient, however, to combat misuses that are legally forbidden. The emblem must retain its high significance and prestige in all circumstances, and any practice likely to lower it in the eyes of the public must be scrupulously avoided.
To take only one example, Red Cross organizations, to raise funds, have sometimes sold objects bearing the red cross. Such practices are likely to lessen, in varying degrees, the standing of the emblem, and are therefore prejudicial to the good name of the Red Cross as a whole.
While the first care must be to guard against misuse of the protective sign, misuse of the purely indicatory sign must also be prevented, as misuse of the latter will indirectly diminish the respect accorded to the former. It should be remembered that the emblem, whatever its legal significance in any given case, is always a red cross on a white ground. Every portrayal of the red cross reinforces or weakens, to a certain extent, the spiritual significance of the sign, in its highest connotation of disinterested aid to the suffering.
The new Convention has granted Red Cross organizations wide prerogatives in regard to the use of the sign. Conscious of the honour, as well as the responsibilities, which this implies, they must jealously watch over what has been entrusted to them. What hope is there of successfully resisting commercial interests which make unscrupulous use of the prestige attaching to the emblem, if those directly interested, and its natural guardians, use it recklessly and bring it into disrepute. It is far better to have to fight unremittingly against abuses which arise precisely from the fact that the sign is widely known, than to see such abuses cease, because it has lost its authority.
PARAGRAPH 3 -- INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AGENCIES
Under the 1929 Convention, the International Committee of the Red Cross was not in theory entitled to use the emblem which it had itself designed and which it was the first to employ. In Switzerland, however, it was authorized to do so by a municipal law which was more in accordance with the spirit than the letter of the Convention. In any case, in view [p.336] of the important work which the Committee is called upon to do in wartime, no one has ever contested its right to make use of the emblem. It may be noted that the same oversight existed in the case of the League of Red Cross Societies.
During the last World War, the International Committee thought it advisable, in the immediate interest of war victims, to propose to Governments that, in given cases and with their formal consent, the sign should be displayed on certain forms of transport used for conveying food for undernourished prisoners of war and civilians. It was mainly ships exclusively employed in relief transport, and sailing under the control of the International Committee or of a National Society, which were affected. In the final stages of the war, the sign was also used on rail and road convoys which the Committee organized at short notice to bring supplies of food to prisoners of war and civilian deportees in Germany.
The 1949 Conference made good the curious oversight in the 1929 Convention, and the international Red Cross organizations are now officially authorized to use the red cross sign.
The authorization is without reservation. Consequently -- as the discussions at the Conference clearly show (12) -- the sign may have protective value when circumstances and the nature of the work require.
The four Geneva Conventions of 1949 entrust many important duties to the International Committee of the Red Cross. They also recognize the work which the Committee does, outside their actual provisions, for the protection of the victims of war. Most of these activities are not, strictly speaking, "protected" by the Geneva Conventions, in the way that those of the Medical Service of the armed forces are. But the extension of the use of the protective sign to cover them is fully justified; such activities largely result from mandates given to the Committee under the terms of the Conventions themselves, and there is a major humanitarian interest in facilitating them.
Wherever circumstances do not demand the use of the protective sign -- that is in the majority of cases -- the sign will be purely indicatory. The international organizations should, like the National Red Cross Societies, be careful to exercise the right, so freely granted to them, with due circumspection and only when it is really necessary to do so.
[p.337] PARAGRAPH 4 -- AMBULANCES AND FIRST-AID STATIONS
The 1929 Convention provided that the purely indicatory sign might be used, with the authorization of the National Red Cross Society concerned, to mark, in peacetime, the position of first-aid posts intended exclusively for the free treatment of sick or injured civilians, even where the first-aid posts in question were not in any way connected with the said Society.
At public meetings and wherever crowds are assembled, first-aid stations are marked in this way. In the same way, everyone knows the first-aid posts which are placed at intervals along main roads, for use by motorists in case of accidents. Recourse was had to the red cross sign because of its very real suggestive power -- because a red cross on a white ground calls to mind the idea of aid within the reach of everyone as automatically as an arrow indicates a direction to be followed. (13)
The 1949 Conference retained this exceptional use of the emblem and extended it, under the same conditions, to motor ambulances. In many countries ambulances, like fire engines, are legally entitled to priority on the roads; they should therefore be clearly and uniformly marked. In any case, this new provision did no more, on the whole, than bring the law into line with actual practice.
Paragraph 4, which is after all a derogation from the guiding principle of the Convention in regard to the emblem, was not adopted without hesitation by the 1929 Conference, which introduced very strict safeguards in order to limit the scope of the provision as much as possible and avoid abuses. The same hesitation did not exist in 1949; but the precautions were maintained. They are as follows:
(a) The emblem may be employed only as an exceptional measure. Its use cannot be extended to cases other than those specified.
[p.338] (b) The use of the sign must be in conformity with national legislation. Governments thus have the possibility of restricting it or of making it subject to such additional safeguards as they may consider desirable (consent of an official agency, supervision, etc.).
(c) Use of the emblem is subject to express authorization. Tacit agreement is therefore not enough. Subject to what we have said under (b), such authorization can only be given by the National Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) Society. This right to give permission does not belong to any other society or even to the State; nor can the Red Cross Societies themselves delegate it.
(d) The first-aid posts must be used exclusively for the sick and injured, and the aid furnished must be free. In this way the idea which attaches to the emblem is safeguarded. From the moment a charge is made or medicines sold, permission to use the emblem should be withdrawn.
(e) This use of the emblem is permissible only in peacetime. As soon as a country becomes a Party to a conflict, such emblems must disappear throughout its territory. This may appear harsh, when it is considered that the purposes for which permission is given are equally useful in wartime. The stipulation is, however, quite definite. It must be remembered that the essential value of the red cross is in wartime, when it becomes a symbol of immunity. Everything else must be subordinated to this consideration.
Red Cross Societies, whenever they grant permission in accordance with these provisions, would do well to exercise a very careful check on the use made of the authorization given, in order that there may be no abuses to diminish the prestige which the emblem must retain in all circumstances.
We have seen that the red cross is most often used, under this paragraph, to mark first-aid stations in places where public meetings take place, and to indicate first-aid posts on highways. In some countries, however, the emblem also appears on small boxes containing first-aid kit for use by the victims of accidents or people who are taken ill; these boxes are found in public buildings such as large stores, in factories, railway carriages, and aircraft.
So long as the provisions of paragraph 4 are duly observed, this practice does not infringe either the spirit or the letter of the Convention. But [p.339] it represents an important extension of the use of the red cross sign, and every extension involves a more than proportional increase in the risk that the prestige of the emblem will suffer. Red Cross Societies, before giving the permission on which every fresh use depends, would be well advised to make certain that no prejudice will result from it; they might even refuse their authorization unless satisfied that they can exercise effective and permanent control.
The question has also been raised in certain countries, of whether the red cross sign can appear on first-aid boxes and kits sold commercially for private use -- especially by motorists. Although it might, perhaps, be useful to be able to identify such boxes or kits quickly in cases of accident or sudden illness, we feel that the practice should be discouraged.
Such a practice would exceed the limits set by the Convention. The use of the emblem would increase and its value diminish; and commercial advertising would enter in. But the greatest objection of all, in our opinion, would be the absence of any form of control. There is no guarantee that the containers would always be used for their original purpose. They might well be used, once empty, as handy tool boxes and still proudly flaunt their red cross! Surely they could be distinguished just as easily if they bore the words "first aid" or "dressings".
We may conclude by recalling the words of the General Rapporteur of the 1929 Conference: (14) "In adopting these texts the Commission wishes to give solemn evidence of its desire to preserve, complete and undiminished, the universal prestige of the emblem of the Convention and the high moral significance of the principles it represents in the eyes of all peoples".
* (1) [(1) p.325] See above, page 307;
(2) [(1) p.326] See ' Actes de la Conférence de revision
réunie à Genève en 1906, Geneva, 1906 ', p. 265;
(3) [(2) p.326] See ' Actes de la Conférence diplomatique de
Genève de 1929, ' Geneva, 1930, pages 306, 307, 311 and
(4) [(3) p.326] See above, page 298;
(5) [(4) p.326] In the text of this Article the world
"indicate" should refer to the words "Red Cross", and the
word "protect" to the emblem; as a result of a clerical
error, they have been printed in the wrong order. See also
below, page 395;
(6) [(1) p.327] See below, page 422;
(7) [(1) p.329] Under Article 18 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention of 1949, a civilian hospital -- which may
belong to a National Red Cross Society or other relief
society -- is entitled to the protective sign if
recognized by the State and authorized to use the sign.
Similarly, under Article 20 of the same Convention, the
directing staff or members of a Red Cross Society are
protected, and may wear the armlet, if they are regularly
and solely engaged in operating or administering a
civilian hospital authorized by the State;
(8) [(2) p.329] See below, page 336;
(9) [(1) p.331] One metre is equivalent to 39.37 inches; 20 cm
is just under 8 inches; 1-2 cm. equals 0.4 - 0.8 inches,
or, roughly speaking, 1/2-1 inch. -- TRANSLATOR;
(10) [(1) p.333] See Paul DES GOUTTES, ' Commentaire de la
Convention de Genève du 27 juillet 1929, ' Geneva, 1930,
(11) [(1) p.335] See below, page 380;
(12) [(1) p.336] See, inter alia, ' Final Record of the
Diplomatic Conference of Geneva, 1949, ' Vol. II-A, page
198 (Report of Committee I to the Plenary Assembly);
(13) [(1) p.337] The Convention concerning the Unification of
Road Signals of March 30, 1931, has, in annex, a
recommendation regarding the sign to be used to indicate a
nearby first-aid station. It is recommended that the sign
should consist of a rectangle, the shorter (horizontal)
side of which should measure two-thirds of the longer
side, the body of the plate being of a dark colour,
surrounded by a white stripe, and the centre of the plate
bearing the red cross emblem within a white square, the
sides of which are not less than 30 cm. in length. A
sketch attached as a model shows the body of the plate in
blue, and this colour seems to have been generally
We refer also to the work of the Standing
International Commission on Highway First Aid, set up by
the XIVth International Red Cross Conference (Brussels,
(14) [(1) p.339] ' Actes de 10 Conférence diplomatique de
Genève de 1929, ' Geneva, 1930, page 619;
See the Commentary of 2016