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


This French-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 Haiti and the United States. The title reads: “Symboles de la liberté et de l'humanité. La Croix Rouge, la mère de toutes les nations.” (Emblems of liberty and humanity. The Red Cross, mother of all nations). After the United States declared war on Germany, President Sudre Dartiguenave of Haiti asked the Haitian parliament for a declaration of war in response to the destruction of a French steamer by a German submarine.  The steamer had among its crew and passengers Haitian citizens. The parliament refused but a few days later adopted a resolution condemning unrestricted submarine warfare and empowering the president to break diplomatic relations with Germany if that country refused reparations and guarantees for the future. Haiti eventually declared war on Germany, on July 12, 1918, but it did not contribute militarily to the war effort.

Last updated: February 10, 2014