06 December 2005
Red Cross, Red Crescent, Red Star of David, Red Crystal? Diplomats from 192 countries are meeting to discuss a third symbol (the Red Star of David is not officially recognized) that could be used by the International Red Cross as a recognized neutral ambulance emblem that would guarantee rescue workers safe access to victims in war zones or disaster areas. The meeting comes after decades of contention over the symbols, with many Arab nations refusing to sign on to the recognition of the Red Star of David, and even now complaining that the compromise “Red Crystal” symbol is an unfair accommodation of Israel. If the Red Crystal is approved, it could have larger — at least symbolically larger — implications for Red Cross International, allowing countries that desire a more religion-neutral emblem to use it instead of the Cross or Crescent.