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“What Our Red Cross Is” was one of many posters issued during World War I to encourage support of the war. This poster contains a written statement issued by Congress in 1905. The statement details the role of the Red Cross organization. An International Conference met in Geneva, Switzerland on August 22, 1864 and agreed upon a treaty for the purpose of mitigating the evils inseparable from war. This treaty had been ratified by forty-four nations, including the United States. The conference recommended, “that there exist in every country a committee whose mission consists in co-operating in times of war with the hospital service of the armies by all means in its power.” The adoption of a distinctive flag and arm badge was also recommended- this flag was the Geneva Red Cross on a white band- has been adopted by every country having a National Red Cross Organization. In January 1905, Congress relied on this treaty of Geneva when Congress granted a charter to the American National Red Cross that declared the purpose of the Red Cross to be, “to furnish volunteer aid to the sick and wounded of armies in time of war, in accordance with the spirit and conditions of the Geneva convention.” This was the foundation of the document above, describing the purpose, organization, and different functions of the Red Cross. The poster was most likely created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of it’s distribution.


WWI, poster, American Red Cross, What Our Red Cross Is


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