The emblem of a red cross on a white ground presents the inverted colours of the Swiss flag. It was created with the purpose of ensuring protection of those wounded in war and those who take care for them. The countries in the islamic world use a red crescent.

There are two legal uses of the emblem:
  • protective - particularly in zones of military operations;
  • indicative - in peace time to designate persons or objects connected to the Movement.

The main rules for the use of the emblem are contained in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, as well as in the “Regulations on the Use of the Emblem of RC/RC by the National Societies” adopted by the Council of Delegates of the Movement in 1991. Any misuse of the emblem is to be sanctioned and the States parties to the Conventions make these rules part of their national legislation.