Some people seem to think that the red cross which is used as a symbol by the American Red Cross and International Red Cross is a Christian symbol - and therefore that these organizations are Christian in character. I don't know why, but these people don't seem to realize that cross are and have been used as symbols outside of Christianity. Media Matters reports:
[A]ccording to the American Red Cross website, it was “[i]n honor of the Swiss ... [that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas.” While the cross on the Swiss flag originated in the 1200s from “a symbol of the Christian faith,” according to the Swiss Embassy in the United States, the Red Cross makes no mention of Christianity as a reason for adopting the symbol. ...
In addition to stating that its symbol was chosen as the reverse of the Swiss flag, the American Red Cross website adds that “[t]he Red Cross idea was born in 1859, when Henry Dunant, a young Swiss man, came upon the scene of a bloody battle in Solferino, Italy,” and that the “emblem was adopted at this first International Conference as a symbol of neutrality” at the first-ever Geneva Convention at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1864. Media Matters put up this information to explain how Bill O’Reilly was incorrect to use this as an example for why it’s wrong to remove the large Christian cross from Mt. Soledad in San Diego. O’Reilly isn’t the only person who thinks that the red cross is a Christian cross, though — that appears to be a belief held by many Muslims and why Muslim organizations use a red crescent. Vehicles with a red cross on them might be targeted as a Christian vehicle in wrong place. Thus, Christians like Bill O’Reilly who are trying to defend Christianity are making the same mistakes as non-Christian terrorists who would like to attack Christianity. The irony of this is truly astounding.
It is confusing because most people think of a “cross” as the Christian symbol, the murder weapon. The cross or plus sign on the Swiss flag is actually a symbol of the Christian faith as well so the red cross flag, a symbol which is derivative of the Swiss flag, is also a Christian symbol. The plus sign is in all aspects a cross in the religious sense and does represent a specific religion on the Swiss flag as well as the red cross symbol. I might as well be in the shape of the murder weapon itself more traditionally presented by religious people. There is a red crescent flag and a red star of David flag as well, clearly religious symbols which were made as alternatives it the Christian cross or plus sign on these flags. Identification
* The red cross symbol is a four-armed cross that resembles two perfect rectangles placed to look like a cross. There is no lettering, and the symbol usually appears on a white background. Significance
* The symbol is the international sign for medic. It is associated in the U.S. with the American Red Cross, a nonprofit aid agency that helps those in need, regardless of their ability to pay. History
* The cross was one of many symbols used to signify medic until the introduction of firearms to battle and the increase in casualties. Henri Durant designed the red cross as we know it today after witnessing tens of thousands of soldiers left dying on the battlefield with no one to help them.
As I understand it, the red cross was a symbol designed to identify medical personal during wartime - it was meant to be a symbol of protection. It is a reversal of the Swiss flag, in honour of the Red Cross founder, Henry Dunant, who was swiss. So nurses and other medical personal wore a red cross to identify themselves. Nursing was at the core of the Red Cross movement from its inception. Nowadays, the Red Cross has come to be associated with disaster relief and other humanitarian efforts. the red cross represents many things such as unity, peace, hope, and the color of...
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