Commentary on the Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem (Protocol III)

The emblems of the red cross and red crescent on a white ground have been used since the nineteenth century as universal symbols of assistance to victims of armed conflicts and natural disasters. While a detailed account of their long history is beyond the scope of this commentary, it is useful to recall some significant moments in an effort to understand the reasons behind the adoption on 8 December 2005 of an additional emblem - the red crystal.

About the author

Jean-François Quéguiner
Legal Adviser

Legal Adviser in the Legal Division of the ICRC.