‘I’d Die for this Flag,' UNC Student Who Defended Flag from Pro-Hamas Protesters Says

Evan Poellinger | May 3, 2024

A group of members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity worked together to prevent the desecration of an American flag at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (UNC) by a mob of pro-Palestinian protesters on Tuesday.

The group of protesters managed to take down the American flag, which was flying at half-mast in UNC’s quad in honor of four Charlotte police officers who were gunned down the day before while trying to serve a warrant. The mob’s actions prompted the fraternity brothers to step in.

As law enforcement moved in to return the flag to its rightful place, members of the fraternity held the flag for an hour while facing the wrath of the scores of protesters. All the while, the flag bearers had rocks and bottles thrown at them and were subjected to profanity and obscene gestures.

Dan Stompel, one of those who stepped in to hold the flag, told Fox News that they were forced to constantly stay on alert and call out “heads up” as objects flew in their direction.

Stompel noted that those holding the flag were not resigned to passivity, if the situation escalated, declaring "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 battle over the flag at UNC represents only one of scores of clashes between pro-Palestine protesters and law enforcement at colleges and universities across the country. In the early morning hours on Thursday, members of the California Highway Patrol moved in to dismantle the encampment that protestors had built at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Over 200 protesters were arrested by riot-gear clad officers before the remains of the encampment were bulldozed and consigned as garbage.

At New York’s Columbia University, meanwhile, 282 people were arrested on Tuesday night as Mayor Eric Adams (D) alleged the protests had been hijacked by “outside agitators.” Of the 134 people arrested, about half were not affiliated with either Columbia University or nearby City College of New York.