Practice Relating to Rule 30. Persons and Objects Displaying the Distinctive Emblem
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
0248. Although the Red Lion and Sun Society is still mentioned in the conventions of the humanitarian law of war, no organization of that name has existed since the Iranian revolution of 1980 (the end of the State of Persia). Iran has dissolved the society, and the emblem is no longer used.
0249. In Israel, the symbol of the Red Star of David is used. This is recognized de facto if not officially.
In its chapter on the protection of the wounded and sick, the manual states:
0620. Medical units must be respected and protected. They may not be attacked … A safe distance must therefore be kept between medical installations and military objectives, otherwise inadvertent misuse of the emblem becomes possible (the red cross emblem: see point 0632).
Section 7 - Identification
0632. The general rule is that the ability to identify medical personnel, chaplains, medical units and transports must be assured as well as possible. For this purpose, the prescribed emblem and the prescribed recognition signals must be used. In addition to the emblem of a red cross on a white background, a red crescent on a white background is displayed … The red cross emblem on a white background derives from the Swiss flag, with the colours reversed. The emblem is heraldic and devoid of religious significance.
0633. The emblem should be as large as possible in the prevailing circumstances. At night, or when visibility is reduced, the emblem may be lighted or illuminated. Where possible, it may also be made of materials rendering it recognizable by technical means of detection, for example, reflective or fluorescent.
0634. Identity card and armband
Medical and religious personnel must wear an armlet, bearing the emblem, on their left arm. Such personnel must also carry a special identity card.
0635. Medical auxiliary personnel must wear a white armlet showing the emblem, in reduced dimensions, while they are performing their medical activities. Their military proof of identity must mention the temporary nature of their activities and their right to wear the armlet.
0636. The Convention on the Wounded and Sick requires that medical units and medical means of transport must make the emblems clearly visible to the adversary, where military requirements permit. In past decades, this has increasingly been understood to mean that medical units and means of transport must, in principle, be marked so as to be visible both from the ground and from the air.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states:
1059. The Red Cross or Red Crescent emblem must be worn visibly by medical and religious personnel. It must be visibly displayed on medical units and means of transport. The emblem must be respected in all circumstances, and may not be misused.
1067. It is prohibited deliberately to direct attacks against buildings, equipment, medical units, transport and personnel using the emblems of the Geneva Conventions.
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transports, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law” is a crime, whether committed in an international or a non-international armed conflict.