First aid is an immediate and temporary response to one who is sick or injured. It is usually taught with a small
number of life-saving medical techniques that people who are not doctors can perform. There are many symbols that are used to represent first aid.
However, to the surprise of many people, the Red Cross is not one of them. The Red Cross is a symbol for one of the largest groups in the world,
The International Red Cross. The Red Cross stands for many different things, not only medical aid, but simply to protect human life, ensure respect
between humans, and alleviate human suffering, all while not discriminating between race, nationality, religion, political views, etc.
The symbol itself was approved as the group's symbol in 1864 and has remained that way since then. The Red Cross was chosen as the symbol by using
Switzerland's flag and reversing the colors; the Swiss have historically been a neutral country, exactly what the Red Cross was looking to do. The
Red Cross symbol is now known worldwide, and is generally not used for anything else. Very commonly, however, confuse the Red Cross as being the
standard first aid symbol
. It is a fair mistake. One of the standard first aid symbols is a white cross on a green background or a green cross.
A group called the Hospitallers of St. Lazarus originally used the green cross over nine hundred years ago. The word
Lazarus is Hebrew for "whom God has helped", it was also the name of a man who was in numerous stories that connect him to Jesus Christ. It is unknown
whether or not the standard symbol for first aid was created using the green cross of the Hospitallers of St. Lazarus as a base, however, it is clear
that the hospitallers were people who gave first aid too.
It is very important not to confuse the green cross with the Red Cross. With respect to that, other symbols for
first aid have come out. One of the other major symbols is called the Star of Life symbol. This symbol is a blue, six-pointed star with the Rod of
Asclepius in the center. This symbol was accepted as a worldwide symbol for first aid in 1977. The green cross and the Star of Life are the two most
recognized symbols for first aid, though to avoid continued confusion, there one day may have to be a change.