Red cross or white cross?

agostini's picture

Hi there
I was just wondering how it is around the world with using the swiss flag instead of
the red cross symbol? Is there a reason for it?

Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief


cuttlefish's picture

The red square cross on a white field is a trademark of the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Society and affiliated national organizations. Functions not directly related to those organizations should use a distinctly different emblem.

However, a a white square cross on various colored fields (usually green but red and other colors are frequently used) has become a generic emblem for first-aid medicine and other emergency services. The design in your image is a white square cross centered on a Japanese national flag, which can be regarded as distinct both from the Red Cross logo and the Swiss national flag, and associated directly with the current emergency in Japan. It may run afoul of trademark regulations, but its meaning is reasonably obvious, provided it isn't being used deceptively for something other than non-profit emergency services.

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