IRRC No. 272

The red cross and red crescent emblems

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In the first half of the nineteenth century in Europe, each army used a different colour to mark its medical services: Austria a white flag, France a red one, Spain yellow, others black. Sometimes, the emblems varied from one corps of troops to another. Moreover, the carts used to transport the wounded bore no particular markings to distinguish them from the other army service vehicles, and there was no means of identifying members of the medical corps at a distance.

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