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Members of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s (UNC) Pi Kappa Phi chapter are being praised after defending the American flag during pro-Palestine protests. College campuses across the country have experienced numerous protests in support of Gaza, accusing Israel of genocide and demanding a ceasefire. Some protests have become so disruptive that college campuses are canceling commencement services over safety concerns. Protesters at UNC engulfed the campus and replaced an American flag with a Palestinian one. Video emerged of a group of young men from the fraternity holding up the American flag while protesters surrounded them, hurling bottles and swearing at them.

One student who stood in the fray, Dan Stompel, described the scene to Fox News. “We’re looking at every direction. If stuff was flying in, we would say, ‘Heads up.’ We would cover each other. We would look out for other people… And it did hurt our arms. It was like an ‘arm day’ [workout] for me that day. There was no gym happening that day afterwards. It was exhausting. It was beautiful moment,” he said. He voiced his and his fellow students’ commitment to protecting the flag. “I was like, ‘I’d die for this flag.’ And everybody was like, ‘Yeah.’ If they got any closer that we’re going to start throwing hands. We’re not going anywhere, I don’t care. They’re going to have to tear me off this flag over my dead body.”

The students’ actions have earned them praise from both the right and left. President Biden’s press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, called their actions “admirable” at a briefing. “All Americans have the right to peacefully protest. It is not right to forcefully take down the American flag, to replace it with another flag. It is not right. And so I just wanted to make that clear as well. Protecting the American flag is admirable,” she said, while not clarifying if President Biden intended to make a donation to the boys or send them a phone call. Former president Donald Trump featured the boys protecting the flag in a campaign ad on Truth Social. “While campuses struggle to get control of their students, at UNC Chapel Hill, they are bringing order back,” the ad began. A GoFundMe started to throw the students a “rager” has earned over $500,000. “Commie losers across the country have invaded college campuses to make dumb demands of weak University Administrators,” the GoFundMe states. “But amidst the chaos, the screaming, the anti-semitism, the hatred of faith and flag, stood a platoon of American heroes. Armored in Vineyard Vines and Patagonia, fueled by Zyn and White Claws, these triumphant Brohemians protected Old Glory from the unwashed Marxist horde — laughing at their shrieks and wails and shielding the Stars & Stripes from Soviet missiles.” No date has yet been set for the event.

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