American Red Cross Logo

American Red Cross Logo

The symbol of the armed forces’ medical services, the Red Cross emblem is familiar in every corner of the world. It was declared in 1864, and its use today was determined by the 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Meaning and history American Red Cross Logo

logo American Red Cross

The history of the Red Cross logo goes back to 1863, the name of its author is Henri Dunant. He did not design the emblem from scratch; in fact it was created by mere reversing the colors of the Swiss flag.

Although this fact was mentioned in the 1906 revision of the Geneva Convention, in fact there are people who disagree with it. For instance, Pierre Boissier, who specializes in the organization’s history, claims that there is no connection between the Swiss flag and the Red Cross logo, and this idea was introduced later so as to object Turkey claiming the flag had Christian origins.

Alternative Red Cross symbols

American-Red-Cross-symbol

As a cross is an emblem with a multitude of symbolic meanings, alternative symbols have been created more than once to avoid semantic ambiguity. For instance, in 1876-78 the Ottoman Empire replaced the Red Cross symbol with a Red Crescent as the cross could alienate the Muslim soldiers.

One more alternative symbol, the Red Crystal, was adopted in 2006 as a result of several controversies, the most important of them being the dispute with Israeli national first-aid society Magen David Adom.

The Red Lion with Sun emblem was a standard in Iran from 1924 to 1980, and the country sometimes uses it even now. We can also mention the Red Shield of David, which is the symbol for Magen David Adom when it is working abroad.

Johnson & Johnson Red Cross emblem sue

American Red Cross emblem

Johnson & Johnson adopted the red cross shape as a trademark back in 1887, earlier than it became the official symbol of the American Red Cross. It took Johnson & Johnson more than a hundred years to make a decision and file a lawsuit against the Red Cross over their logo. This happened in 2007. As a result of the controversy, the Red Cross was forbidden to use the badge when taking part in commercial incentives that can compete with a private business.

Font of the American Red Cross Logo

Font of the American Red Cross Logo

The Red Cross logo is recognizable all around the world even if it does not contain any text. However, the official version of the emblem does include an “International Movement” insignia given in a clear, sans-serif all-cap type.

Color of the American Red Cross Logo

Color American Red Cross Logo

The choice of color is closely interconnected with the symbol’s history. The combination of red and white was borrowed from the flag of Switzerland, which was the source of the Red Cross logo.