The fascinating origins of the Red Cross
Battle of Solferino -
The Battle of Solferino took place in present-day Italy on June 24, 1859 between French and Austrian forces. The French prevailed.
Henry Dunant (1828–1910) -
Henry Dunant published 'A Memory of Solferino' in 1862.
'A Memory of Solferino' -
The publication of the book led to the establishment of a Swiss-based group that put together a plan for national relief associations.
Red cross flag -
Soon afterwards the committee adopted its official emblem—the red cross flag, an inverse of the Swiss flag.
Battle of Dybbøl -
The Battle of Dybbøl, fought in Denmark on April 18, 1864, saw the first use of the Red Cross symbol in an armed conflict.
Red Crescent flag -
Having ratified the Geneva treaty in 1865, the Ottoman Empire began using a red crescent as its emblem.
Clara Barton (1821–1912) -
Clara Barton was a former educator who became a hospital nurse in the American Civil War.
Swiss revelation -
After the war, Barton ran the Office of Missing Soldiers out of Washington, D.C. She also crisscrossed the nation lecturing about her experiences on the battlefield.
American Red Cross -
Upon her return to the United States, Barton launched a years-long campaign to get the US to ratify the Geneva Convention of 1864.
Food line -
American soldiers stand in line to receive bowls of chocolate and rolls at the American Red Cross canteen in Toulouse, France, in 1917.
British Red Cross -
The British Red Cross Society was formed in 1870.
Croix-Rouge française - During the Great War, hundreds of people queued outside the Red Cross headquarters in Paris to volunteer their services.
Second World War -
During the Second World War, the Geneva Conventions in their 1929 revision formed the legal basis of the work of the ICRC.
The ICRC was unable to obtain an agreement with Nazi Germany about the treatment of detainees in concentration camps.
Blood donation - This wartime effort became the model for the civilian blood program that the Red Cross began in 1948.
ICRC under attack -
Since the end of the Cold War, the ICRC's work has become more dangerous.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum - The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, Switzerland, provides a fascinating overview of the ICRC.