The Red / Green Cross badge
In yesterdays Blog regarding the issue of Scottish Mountain Rescue having to change its badge from a red cross to a green one, you are right in suggesting that it is a protected emblem. The emblem of a red cross with arms of equal length on a white background is the visible sign of protection under the 1949 Geneva Conventions. As such, it is the emblem of the armed forces’ medical services and its use is controlled by governments.
The British Red Cross is authorised by the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence to use the emblem within specified limits. In return for this permission, they monitor unauthorised use or misuse (whether deliberate or inadvertent) of the red cross emblem and similar symbols throughout the UK. The British Red Cross has a team of international lawyers working in London who will use the full weight of both international and UK law to stop any wrongful use of the red cross. Indeed, the inadvertent use of a red cross by Scottish Mountain Rescue was the subject of such a process.
Many people are unaware of the true meaning of the emblem and its importance. It is first and foremost a symbol of neutral protection in wartime. To be effective, it must be understood and completely trusted.
Interestingly, there are some mountain rescue teams in other countries who are entitled to use the red cross in their badges. These are Red Cross MRT’s and they exist all over Europe, in fact the UK is alone in that it does not have a Red Cross MRT. It did however until 2013 have a Flood Response and Inland Water Search and Rescue Team. The Glens of Imaal MRT in Ireland are a Red Cross MRT.
Many thanks to Ian Rideout.
My Classic Chounaird Ice axe and Hammer are of to Sunny Spain they were sold on Ebay and were great ice tools. They cost £48 to send to Spain what a price for postage and I am sure they will brighten up the collectors day. They served me well from the late 70’s and managed two hard trips to Canada and many Scottish winters. Looking back they so many routes to many to name but a few in the Cairngorms Devils,Delight, Cascade, Mirror Direct, Brimstone grooves. Lochnagar – Parrallel A, Polythemus, West Gully, Douglas Gibson Gully, Ben Nevis – All the ridges ,The Curtain, Green Gully Comb, Hadrian’ s Wall, Zero Gully, The Curtain, Smiths,Two Step Corner. Glencoe The Screen, Deep Cut Chimney, Crowberry Gully, Twisting Gully, Aonach Eag. Creag Mheaghaidh Last Post, Centre Post, Ritchies Gully and so many others up in the North West and all over Scotland. My climbing ability is not great but they did some great routes and the thud of them on good ice was heartwarming. What a lovely balanced Axe and hammer and axe of great beauty with the Bamboo shaft. I am sorry to see them go but they were on my wall on the stairs and needed moving on to a warmer climate. There was nearly a tear in my glasses today I lost a great friend. I see that my two friend were on the Ben early the lovely Di Gilbert and Heather and climbed the Curtain. I had a short morning in 1983 just back from Canada with Pete Kay what a great day apart from the scary avalanche descent of 5 gully, dragging the ropes in case it went. What great days !
I have another with Kev Hewkin in Aviemore and when a bit fitter will collect it send it to the Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection ( Mick Tighe) as part of his incredible collection of Climbing memorabilia.