German paramilitary organization
The Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold (German: [ˈʁaɪçsˌbanɐ ˈʃvaʁts ˈʁoːt ˈɡɔlt], "Black, Red, Gold Banner of the Reich") was an organization in Germany during the Weimar Republic, formed by members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the German Centre Party, and the (liberal) German Democratic Party in February 1924. Its goal was to defend parliamentary democracy against internal subversion and extremism from the left and right, to teach the population to respect the new Republic, to honor its flag and the constitution. Its name is derived from the Flag of Germany adopted in 1919, the colors of which were associated with liberal parliamentary democracy and the republic, and themselves had first appeared together on a state flag, within a German-ethnicity sovereign state in 1778.
While the Reichsbanner was set up as a multiparty organization, it came to be strongly associated with the Social Democratic Party and viewed as their paramilitary force. The headquarters of the Reichsbanner was located in Magdeburg, but it had branches elsewhere.The Reichsbanner's main opponents were the Communist Party of Germany and their Rotfrontkämpferbund on the left, and the Nazi Party and their Sturmabteilung on the right. Following the Nazi takeover, Reichsbanner members played a central role in the anti-Nazi resistance.The Reichsbanner was re-established in 1953, as Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold, Bund aktiver Demokraten e.V. as an association for political education.
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