Emblems of Liberty and Humanity. The Red Cross, Mother of All Nations


This Spanish-language poster is one in a series issued by the American Red Cross during World War I featuring the flags of the countries allied or associated with the United States in the war. This poster shows two Red Cross nurses. One nurse, depicted as a Madonna figure, cradles in her arms a wounded soldier on a litter between the flags of Bolivia and the United States. The title reads: “Emblemas de la libertad y de la humanidad. La Cruz Roja, madre de todas las naciones” (Emblems of liberty and humanity. The Red Cross, mother of all nations). In 1916, a neutral Dutch ship carrying the Bolivian minister to Germany and his family was torpedoed by German submarines. The event stoked strong anti-German feelings in Bolivia. When the United States entered the war in 1917, Bolivia severed diplomatic relations with Germany as a gesture of solidarity. Bolivia did not declare war or participate directly in World War I, but the Bolivian economy benefited, as exports of tin to Britain boomed, supporting weapons production and other industrial needs.

Last updated: October 25, 2013