North Carolina student said he would have protected American flag with his ‘dead body’ from ‘Marxist horde’

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A student who defended the American flag at a North Carolina campus Tuesday from an anti-Israel mob, said the protesters would have had to yank the flag from him over his “dead body.” 

Anti-Israel protesters targeted the American flag on The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s quad — which had been flying at half-mast after four Charlotte officers were killed in the line of duty. At one point, they replaced it with a Palestinian flag – enraging students and inspiring members from the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity to take action. 

“I don’t understand how people can act like this,” said Dan Stompel, a junior studying political science at the university. He was one of over a few dozen students who stood up to a mob of hundreds as they tried to desecrate the American flag. Stompel and his fellow classmates held the flag for over an hour until police were able to clear the protest and safely hoist it back on the flagpole. All the while, the students experienced profanity and middle fingers from protesters, along with bottles, rocks, and water being thrown at them. 

“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,” Stopel said in an interview with Fox News Digital Wednesday. 

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dan Stompel, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reacted to being assaulted by anti-Israel mob while defending U.S. flag.

“It shows that, …based on the people there, nice, normal, strong boys protecting America’s flag. There’s nothing more patriotic, nothing more genuine, nothing more inspiring than that,” he said. 

At one point, the junior made a “joke” about how they would respond if the mob tried to stop them. 

“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,” Stompel said. 

A GoFundMe created for Chapel Hill’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter has raised more than $265,000 as of Wednesday evening “to throw this frat the party they deserve.” 

“Commie losers across the country have invaded college campuses to make dumb demands of weak University Administrators,” the GoFundMe page said. “But amidst the chaos, the screaming, the anti-semitism, the hatred of faith and flag, stood a platoon of American heroes… [who] protected Old Glory from the unwashed Marxist horde.” 

Anti-Israel protesters replace the American flag with the Palestinian flag during a demonstration at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus

Anti-Israel protesters replaced the American flag with the Palestinian flag during a demonstration at the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.  (Heather Diehl/The Daily Tar Heel)

“Don’t bend the knee to these people. They want to take over. They want to just destroy what this country stands for, bring their own twisted ideology into every orifice of this country. And don’t let them do that,” Stompel told Fox News Digital. “If it really took, like, 30 dudes to stop thousands of people because we take a stand, because we don’t let it slide… If you genuinely believe in something, no other person who’s kind of wishy washy on an issue can question you.”

“So take a stand. Be a man. Take a stand,” he added. 

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American flag on UNC campus

The American flag is surrounded by a temporary barrier at Polk Place at the University of North Carolina on May 1, 2024 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  ((Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images))

The protests at Chapel Hill come as students at elite schools across the country protest against Israel and in support of Gaza amid the ongoing war in the Middle East, with activists setting up encampments on campuses, occupying buildings, clashing with law enforcement and resisting arrest. The protests began at Columbia University and have since spread across the country to schools everywhere from Massachusetts to Tennessee, Texas to California.

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The Republican club, who also partook in the event, said, “All members of the UNC College Republicans were disgusted and appalled when witnessing the removal of the American flag and its replacement with the Palestinian flag.” 

“Brave students saw their nation’s flag being disrespected and acted swiftly,” the club said.