North Carolina Fraternity Members Who Protected Flag in Viral Video Speak Out

pi kappa phi flag

Getty The flag protected by Pi Kappa Phi fraternity at UNC.

A GoFundMe page for Pi Kappa Phi members in North Carolina who protected the American flag in a viral video during a pro-Palestinian protest at UNC has now raised more than $500,000, and some of the fraternity members are speaking out.

Student Alex Jones wrote on X, “Yesterday, my fraternity brother @estradguillermo and I were photographed holding up the American flag in the Quad of UNC-Chapel Hill during the protests. Since then, these images have spread, receiving media coverage nationwide.”

According to Fox News, the protesters, on Tuesday, May 2, replaced the American flag with a Palestinian flag, but UNC Chancellor Lee Roberts and law enforcement put the American flag back up. The flag was “flying at half-mast after four Charlotte officers were killed in the line of duty Monday,” Fox News reported.

The fraternity brothers moved in to protect the flag when the protesters tried to remove it again, the network reported. A video of them protecting the flag went viral.

Jones added:

Both myself, my fraternity brother, and the others who protected the flag with us have received many messages of support. For this, I am truly humbled. For me, protecting the flag was not about taking a stance within the ongoing Israel-Palestine discourse.

I recognize the pain and suffering experienced by both sides of that conflict. But my decision yesterday to protect the flag of the United States was not about any other nation. It was simply about the importance of our country and the values we believe in.

I believe in the right to free speech and peaceful protest. I am honored to give back to the nation that has given me and my family countless opportunities.

I owe everything to the hard work of my parents and this great nation, and I am proud to be among those who stood up for it yesterday. I am proud to be an American.

The GoFundMe page is titled, “Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw ’em a Rager.” As of May 3, the page had raised more than $516,000.

The tongue-in-cheek message on the page says, “We are overwhelmed by you glorious, Patriotic Americans who value good beer and great times. We are in contact with multiple leaders from fraternities whose members helped defend the flag, including Alpha Epsilon Pi and others, in addition to Pi Kappa Psi. Our gratitude goes to all of them and we will update supporters on what comes next.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Guillermo Estrada, Another Fraternity Member Who Protected the Flag, Wrote, ‘We Stood for an Hour Defending the Flag So Many Fight to Protect’

Guillermo Estrada, one of the other fraternity members credited with protecting the flag, wrote on X, “Today was a sad yet empowering day at Chapel Hill. When I walked to class, I saw the Palestinian flag raised on our quad flag pole and was immediately upset at the act that these ‘protestors’ had made. I cannot say I am fully educated on the Israel/Palestine conflict.”

He continued:

But it upset me that my country’s flag was disrespected in order to advocate for another.

Shortly after, Chancellor Roberts came with police officers to hang the flag once again. They were met with profanity, middle fingers, thrown bottles, rocks, and water. When the flag was raised once again, the Greek community began singing the National anthem. As the Chancellor left, the quad erupted into chaos as protestors began removing the flag once again, preparing to destroy it.

My fraternity brother and others ran over to hold it up, in order for it not to touch the ground. People began throwing water bottles at us, rocks, sticks, calling us profane names. We stood for an hour defending the flag so many fight to protect.

My parents started a new life in the United States, a country that has helped them flourish and raise two kids. I grew up in a Military community and saw firsthand the sacrifices they make. I will not stand for the disrespect these ‘protestors.’ cause for the sake of another country.

My LDOC will be memorable in knowing that my fraternity brothers and others fought to keep the flag up. But it was also be memorable in knowing that so many yearn to disrespect it

The GoFundMe page originally contained this message: “Commie losers across the country have invaded college campuses to make dumb demands of weak University Administrators.” It continued,

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.

These boys… no, men, of the UNC Chapel Hill Pi Kappa Phi, gave the best to America and now they deserve the best.

Help us raise funds to throw this frat the party they deserve, a party worth of the boat-shoed Broleteriat who did their country proud.

A woman wrote on the comment thread, “We are all so proud of you young men. Thank you for standing up and doing the right thing. Thanks to your parents too for raising you to know how to think for yourselves and make good decisions. U.S.A!”

The Organizer of the Pi Kappa Phi GoFundMe Says It Has ‘Ballooned Into an American Cultural Moment’

John Noonan, the organizer of the GoFundMe, also wrote a lengthy update on the page. It says:

We have been overwhelmed by the sheer force of patriotism on display here. What started as a modest request to buy a few kegs for some great young guys has ballooned into an American cultural moment, with millions of people paying attention: blue and red, left and right, all of the above. Donations continue to pour in. Given the sheer scope of media interest in this story, we are posting this update.

First, people should understand that we organized this fundraiser independently. That has been misreported by certain press outlets. We aren’t brothers ourselves: just Americans who admire young people like the men of UNC fraternities — members from at least eight different houses, by our count, many of whom we’ve now met.

With over 12,000 donations and almost half a million dollars, it’s incumbent on us to disburse the money in a manner that is faithful to our donors’ intent: throwing these great guys a world class party that will echo across eternity. Fraternities will also have input on sending funds to some great charities in their name, foundations that are consistent with the fundraiser’s patriotic theme. A transparent independent entity that will include a board of directors, as well as representation from the fraternity organizations themselves, is in the process of being established to keep true to donor intent.

Volunteers have stepped up to process the avalanche of offers to contribute merchandise, entertainment, and more. A professional planner with long experience in managing complex events has been retained to organize and execute the logistics. Outreach has been made to both students and UNC officials to set a party date and venue. But with graduation just around the corner, final exams in full swing, and continued drama on campus, we think it is best to take our time and plan this right.

We’ve had our fun over the past 24 hours. There is nearly half a million in the bank. That is plenty to throw a killer party and give to some great charities. At midnight, we will close the GoFundMe to donations.

Thank you to Americans of all stripes for their support. Done right, it will truly be “one for the ages” — and will inspire Americans all over again.

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