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 Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Chair, Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art 3:12 pm, 1st April 2009

I am happy to be accused of being a liberal, but certainly not bourgeois. I largely agree with my hon. Friend, but he must recognise that these symbols can be hijacked. Back in 1864—this predates my hon. Friend—the Ottoman empire made representations under the Geneva convention because it claimed that the red cross emblem

"gave offence to Muslim soldiers".

From that point on, the red cross stopped being the universal symbol. He must recognise that some symbols can cause offence to some communities in a way that he may not have thought through.

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