An emblem with a history
Henry Dunant, the Swiss banker who founded the Red Cross back in 1863, chose as its emblem a red cross on a white background – an emblem which has since come to be universally recognized as representing both people and supplies providing medical assistance in conflict situations. It symbolizes protection and respect.
The Red Crescent and Red Crystal symbols
The Red Crescent and Red Crystal later came to be recognized as a universal emblem. They have the same meaning as the Red Cross symbol and enjoy the same protected status. In peacetime they can be used for reception of asylum seekers, social activities, first aid and blood supply, for example.
The rules of international humanitarian law state that the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Crystal are all protected emblems. This protection is crucial for us to be able to maintain our impartial status since impartiality is an inherent feature of providing humanitarian assistance.