The Reichsbanner Black-Red-Gold was a private organisation for the protection of the Weimar Republic. It was founded in 1924 in reaction to immense internal struggle in the first post-war years, when multiple coups destabilised the young democracy. The Reichsbanner set itself the goal to counter the right-wing violence as well as left-wing violence and sought cooperation with the understaffed authorities, the idea being that both the radical nationalists and the communists were a viable threat to the democratic process. In this, the activists of the Reichsbanner sought to protect political meetings of democratic parties, the pacifist movement, and the Jewish community. Additionally, the goal was to strengthen the legitimacy of the republic through festivities, publications, and day-to-day items such as the “Freedom” cigarettes. In this respect the omni-presence of the black-red-gold flag was crucial in fostering the unifying sense of a democratic community under siege. However, the internal division of the Reichsbanner with its 1.5 million members led to a purely defensive course, which was unable to take away the political initiative, especially from the emerging NSDAP. The foundation of the Iron Front in 1931 did not change that. Nonetheless, a lot can be learned from the history of the Reichsbanner as the largest civilian effort to save the Weimar Republic.