Symbols of Protection

Story and video by the International Committee of the Red Cross

In a world crowded with symbols, what do the red cross, red crescent and red crystal mean? 

They are symbols of protection that international law gives to the wounded and sick, and those caring for them, in armed conflict. They convey to those fighting that they must not attack anyone or anything that displays these emblems.

The symbols can also show a connection to a red cross or red crescent organisation, when integrated into their logos. They help people know they are humanitarian organisations, helping people in natural disasters, times of war or other emergencies – purely based on need.

The emblems are not religious symbols. They serve humanity. They are symbols of protection and convey that help is at hand. They also signify hope, and must be respected.