When I use a word…: Crosses and stars

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:g
  1. Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
  1. Oxford

The Red Cross was founded in 1864 in pursuance of the aims of the Geneva Convention, and therefore used the Geneva Cross, a red Greek cross on a white ground, as its symbol. Because of the Christian connotations of the cross, similar organisations in Turkey and then in other Muslim countries were called the Red Crescent. And the equivalent modern Israeli term is Magen David Adom, the Red Shield of David.

The Magen David (pronounced Mâ-gen Dâ-veed), a hexagram, a six sided star formed from two equilateral triangles superimposed, is the symbol associated with Judaism; you can see it on the front and back covers of George Steiner's latest …

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