Excerpt:

A Labour minister has sparked controversy by claiming that an alternative symbol is needed for the Red Cross because of the logo's supposed links to the Crusades.

Foreign Office minister Chris Bryant said that the historic emblem risked undermining the work of the humanitarian organisation.

His intervention came as MPs debated the adoption of the 'red crystal' - a diamond-shaped badge - to avoid the religious connotations of the cross and crescent symbols currently used by the international body.

But critics said the new insignia was a sop to political correctness and warned that it may be the first step towards it replacing cross and crescent. Others fear that it may not be as widely recognised on the battlefield.


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