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The red cross and red crescent emblems - Special issue

02-10-1997 News Release 97/39

 Further to various reports in the media stating that the International Red Cross may abolish its emblem and replace it with a "culturally neutral" diamond logo, please find hereafter a statement by ICRC President Cornelio Sommaruga.  


The red cross and red crescent are currently used around the world both as a protective symbol in wartime and as the identifying emblems of national and international organisations of our Movement. Tragically, in many of today's conflicts the emblems are neither understood nor respected.

In November the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement will be discussing six different suggestions by a working group set up to address these issues. The proposals include ideas to introduce a third neutral, protective emblem for use in time of armed conflict, and to permit the recognition of national organisations using other identifying emblems. The objectives remain: to secure the best possible protection for the innocent victims of war and to ensure that our international Movement, based on the worldwide value of humanity, is truly universal. No decision will be taken by the Movement in November. The emblem is enshrined in international law and any final decision will have to be taken by the 188 States party to the Geneva Conventions.

Any solution must clearly take account of the emblems currently in use. There is no plan to end the use of the emblem or name of the red cross or the red crescent by the humanitarian organisations of our Movement. The red cross is an emblem which I, and the ICRC delegates working around the world to protect victims of armed conflict, wear with pride.

Cornelio Sommaruga


International Committee of the Red Cross


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