Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Bill [ Lords]

Part of Registration of Births and Deaths (Welsh Language) – in the House of Commons at 3:12 pm on 1st April 2009.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (Education) 3:12 pm, 1st April 2009

I was going to say that perhaps I made myself unhelpfully unclear in my earlier argument. Perhaps, and this is more likely, my hon. Friend Mr. Swire was not listening carefully enough when I said that the red cross is not solely a Christian symbol—indeed, it is arguably not one at all. Of course, the cross is a Christian symbol but the use of the cross relates to a much more ancient recognition of the symbol as a symbol of peace. Let me take the use of the white flag as a parallel example. Since time began, the white flag has been recognised as a symbol of submission or surrender. The symbol of a cross has ancient lineage, as I have described, that predates its use as a Christian image. I made that point once. I have now made it twice. I do not expect to have to make it a third time.

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