O.k so technically I learnt this last Friday and I may be at risk of revealing my ignorance, although I've probably done that well before this. :)
At the conference last Friday there was a presenter from the Australian Red Cross talking about their international movement. She kept mentioning the Red Cross, Red Crescent movement. I could not work out what the crescent was all about because in Australia it's just the Red Cross. At the end of the session we got chatting and of course the reason for the Red Crescent movement is obvious! (well it is now) Not all countries or cultures recognise and/or like the use of a Christian symbol in, for example, a Muslim country.
"Unfortunately, the emblems are sometimes perceived as having religious, cultural or political connotations. This has affected respect for the emblems especially in certain conflict situations and has diminished the protection the emblems offer to victims and to humanitarian and medical personnel."Obvious really, but I had never stopped to think of the implications of using particular symbols in cross cultural relationships. So there you go, I hope you have learnt something new today.
Internation Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies http://www.ifrc.org/index.asp