The Red Cross was founded in October 1863 after 16 national delegates met in Geneva (during the Geneva Conference) to discuss the establishment of a system where volunteers would help the wounded in times of war regardless of nationality. In 1862, a Swiss philanthropist named Jean Henri Dunant ( 1828-1910) had described this idea in one of his pamphlets. Dunant toured Italy in 1859 during the Austro-Sardanian War and after seeing the suffering of the wounded he formed a group of volunteers to aid the wounded. In August 1864, the European delegates met again (along with two American observers) to form the first Geneva Convention: the amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded in Armies in the Field. This convention determined the protection of wounded soldiers and medical personnel during times of war. The Red Cross was established as a symbol for neutral aid.
The name Red Cross was established from it’s flag, which is the inverse of the Swiss flag. In Muslim countries the Red Cross is known as the Red Crescent.