Who May Use the Red Cross Symbol?
We often see the red cross symbol used as a decorativesymbol on signs, in advertising or to indicate first aidstations, ambulances, emergency, health care or medicalproducts, services or personnel. Using the red crosssymbol in such a way is wrong
and illegal.Only the American RedCross and the medical corpsof the Armed Forces duringtimes of armed conflict mayuse the Red Cross emblemin the United States. A fewU.S. companies that were already using the red crosssymbol before 1905 are entitled to continue using it. Onewell-known example is Johnson & Johnson. Its use byanyone else is prohibited and unlawful.
What Legal Restrictions Existin the United States?
Congress understood the importance of protecting theRed Cross emblem from unauthorized use and madeunauthorized use a crime.Whoever wears or displays the sign of theRed Crossor any insignia colored in imitationthereof for the fraudulent purpose of inducingthe belief that he is a member of or an agent forthe American National Red Cross; orWhoever, whether a corporation, association orperson, other than the American NationalRed Cross and its duly authorized employeesand agents and the sanitary and hospitalauthoritiesof the armed forces of the UnitedStates, uses the emblem of the Greek red crosson a white ground, or any sign or insignia madeor colored in imitation thereof or the words“Red Cross” or “Geneva Cross” or any combinationof these words—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned notmore than six months, or both.(18 U.S.C. § 706)