One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
More fully "Reichsbanner Black-Red-Gold". A paramilitary organization in Germany from 1924 to 1933 which supported the Weimar Republic, and whose membership was mainly drawn from supporters of the centre-left Social Democratic Party, especially those who were veterans of the First World War (1914–18).
1920s; earliest use found in The Times. From German Reichsbanner, specifically use of Reichsbanner imperial banner, especially the banner of the Holy Roman Empire, later also used of the official flags of Germany from Reichs-, combining form of Reich kingdom, empire + Banner.
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