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


This Portuguese-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 Brazil and the United States. The title reads: “Symbolos da liberdade y da humanidade. A Crux Vermelha, Mãe de todas as nacões” (Emblems of liberty and humanity. The Red Cross, mother of all nations). Brazil was the only country in South America to declare war on Germany and the only country in Latin America to participate militarily in World War I. Like the United States, Brazil originally maintained strict neutrality in the conflict between the Allied and Central powers. However, in October 1917, following attacks by German submarines on Brazilian merchant ships, Brazil entered the war on the side of the Allies. The Brazilian army did not send troops to Europe, but the Brazilian navy help to patrol the South Atlantic for German submarines. Brazil was also an important supplier of commodities to the Allies during the war.

Last updated: February 10, 2014