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Red Cross Emblem

Red Cross on a white background, is the Emblem of Red Cross, recognized in 1864 as the distinctive sign for medical relief teams on the battle field.

In the Russo-Turkish war the Ottoman empire used a Red Crescent in place of the Red Cross. Egypt too opted for the Red Crescent while Persia chose a Red Lion on a white background. These symbols were written and accepted into the 1929 Geneva Conventions. The IRCS adopted RED CROSS as its emblem.

The National Society make use of the emblem as an indicative device in peacetime and during armed conflicts within the limits stipulated in national legislation, the regulations and its statutes only for activities consistent with the principles set out by International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

During the General Assembly and the council of Delegates in November 2005 at Geneva, Red Crystal has been adopted as another emblem for the Red Cross Red Crescent movement.


          The object of Red Cross is allied with doctors and this has led to the belief in the monds of some medical practitioners that every medical practitioner is entitled to use Red Cross emblem. This belief is fallacious and as a matter of fact its use by medical practitioners is prohibited by law. It is the right only of members of medical service of any army.

As per the Geneva Conventions Act 1960 (as prevailing in India), Section 12 of the Act prohibits use of Red Cross and other allied emblem for any purpose whatsoever without approval of the Government of India and Section 13 imposes a penalty on anyone who uses such emblems without the permission of Central Government.

The emblem of a Red Cross is as with vertical and horizontal arm of same length on and completely by a white ground or the designation “Red Cross or “Geneva Gross.” The other allied emblems / designations are “Red Crescent”; “Red Lion and Sun”, and emblem of “Swiss Confederation.”

As per Las use of any design or wording resembling or likely to be mistaken for any of above emblems is subject to penalty. The punishment may extend to fine upto Rs. 500/- and be liable to forfeit any goods upon or in connection with which the emblem, designation or wording was used by that person. The Government of India has issued Press notices in 1938 pointing out that such user was illegal.