Help us protect the emblems that protect lives
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It's a symbol that everybody recognises, but not everybody knows what it means. In times of war and conflict, the red cross emblem affords protection to Red Cross workers, military medics and military religious personnel who are not participating in hostilities. It means 'don't shoot - we're not part of the fight'. With Australian Red Cross's new 'The Emblem' app, you can help us protect the emblems that protect lives in armed conflict.
Frequently asked questions
Why have you developed this app?
The red cross emblem is an impartial sign of protection in times of armed conflict. It means 'don't shoot; we are not part of the fight!' in every language. People die in conflict when the emblem's meaning is misunderstood. That is why we need to prevent its misuse in advertising, signage, or even in clothing and toys.
Red Cross has the responsibility of ensuring the emblem is used only as a protective device in armed conflict, and we have developed the app to help our supporters assist us in carrying out this vital task.
Surely the red cross on a child's toy or a t-shirt wouldn't make that much of a difference?
Unfortunately, confusion about the emblem's meaning can place those under its protection at risk of injury or even death. The past several years has seen hundreds of red cross workers lose their lives during conflict, even though they were operating under the protection of the red cross. We want to prevent this.
Through The Emblem app, Red Cross carries out its duty of safeguarding the integrity of the emblem and educating our community on its use. People's lives depend on it in armed conflict, and for this we really need your help.
What devices can run the app?
The Emblem App is designed to work on any iPhone or iPad that can run iOS 8.4 or later, or any device that can run Android 4.1 or later.
Do I need an internet connection to use the app?
Most of the information contained in the app does not require an online connection. However, to download the app, view the app's video or to send a report, connectivity is required.
Do you need any of my personal information in order for me to use the app?
No personal information is needed. However, if you decide to send a misuse report, the app will ask to access your report location. This is an easy way for us to locate the item and contact the parties using it. On some occasions we may contact you for additional information on the report you send us.
Can I submit an anonymous emblem misuse report?
In which countries will the app be available?
At this time, the app is only for use within Australia.
If I wish to submit an emblem misuse report from the app, what happens?
Your report will be sent to the Australian Red Cross emblem protection team. If they find that the emblem is being misused, they will contact the involved parties and work with them to modify the design or remove it from circulation.
Hang on. I don't want to get anyone in trouble. What will happen to the business or person who may be misusing the emblem?
Don't worry - neither do we! Misuse of the emblem is usually the result of someone misunderstanding the meaning of the emblem, or not knowing about its meaning in the first place. Our emblem team works with people and businesses who may be using the emblem to advise them of its importance, and help them work out alternatives. If a resolution can't be reached, the matter is referred to the Department of Defence, who are the body responsible for the emblem's correct usage in Australia.
Have businesses or people using the emblem agreed to stop or alter its design once they were advised of misuse?
Yes. Several small and large companies, upon being advised of the importance of the emblem during conflict, have ceased their use of it, or used an alternative design. We're very grateful for their commitment to maintaining the integrity of this vital protective symbol.
But Australian Red Cross uses the red cross in its own logo and advertising!
Indeed we do, and even we have to request permission from the Minister of Defence to do so! National Societies such as Australian Red Cross may use the emblem in peacetime to indicate that a person or object is linked to the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. However, we are still required to follow strict government regulations regarding its use - for example; we need to make sure it is accompanied by the text 'Australian Red Cross'. Red Cross does not 'own' the emblem.
Where can I download the app?
If I install The Emblem, am I going to be receiving endless pesky alerts and notifications from the app?
No, the app does not incorporate notification and alert features.
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