UNC-Chapel Hil Frat Boys defending American Flag / Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended Their Flag. Throw ’Em a Rager image from viral video.

UNC-Chapel Hill Frat Boys Defending American Flag

Part of a series on 2024 Pro-Palestinian College Protests / Gaza Solidarity Encampments. [View Related Entries]

Updated May 02, 2024 at 03:41PM EDT by Zach.

Added May 02, 2024 at 01:20PM EDT by Owen.

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Overview

UNC-Chapel Hill Frat Boys Defending American Flag, also known as Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended Their Flag. Throw 'Em a Rager, refers to a viral event involving Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers at UNC-Chapel Hill in which they defended an American flag from being taken down on their campus amid the university's pro-Palestinian protest and Gaza solidarity encampment. A photo and a viral video of them spread on Twitter / X and Reddit, among other sites, in early May 2024. The group became a symbol of pro-Israel and pro-U.S. sentiments expressed by many Republican and conservative pundits and meme pages online, as well as other internet users who praised them. A GoFundMe for the boys called "Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'em a Rager" went viral online, gaining thousands of dollars in just a few days. The GoFundMe campaign and the boys themselves were criticized by some online while others championed their actions.

Background

On April 23rd, 2024, student protestors at UNC-Chapel Hill rallied in support of Columbia University's pro-Palestinian protests, asking for divestment from funds aiding Israel and its IDF. The rally turned into a Gaza solidarity encampment in which UNC students occupied parts of the campus.[1]

On April 30th, a notable pro-Palestinian rally occurred at UNC-Chapel Hill in which students replaced the American flag with the Palestinian flag on one of the campus's largest flagpoles.[2] After, authorities and the university's Chancellor came to replace the Palestinian flag with the American flag.

After doing so, protestors tried to take the American flag down again. A group of fraternity brothers from UNC-Chapel Hill's Pi Kappa Phi fraternity then stood with the flag, preventing it from being taken down again while some threw or sprayed them with water.[3]

Also on April 30th, 2024, UNC student news outlet The Daily Tar Heel released multiple photos from the scene, including one that showed the frat boys defending the flag (shown below).[3][4]


ASTERS GUSTA ROLINA TAR HEELS THERS TIDE CIPE

Online Reaction

On April 30th, 2024, multiple internet users levied their takes on the UNC-Chapel Hill frat boys defending the American flag. For instance, on April 30th, fellow UNC frat brother X[4] user @estradguillermo tweeted in support of the brothers, gaining over 38,000 likes in two days (shown below, left).

Simultaneously, several conservative meme pages and pundits shared memes with the boys, like X[5] user @MidnightMitch on May 1st, who shared an AI-generated image depicting White Boy Summer with the brothers lifting an American flag (mimicking the iconic Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima image), receiving over 4,700 likes in a day (shown below, right).


Guillermo Estrada @estradguillermo ... (Thread) 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 6:11 PM Apr 30, 2024 5.2M Views II 0:29 Alrite Boy SUMMER @midnightmitch

Discourse about the UNC frat boys also surfaced on Reddit, evident in a post shared by Redditor[12] PostSecularPope to the /r/JoeRogan subreddit on May 1st, 2024, which received over 2,200 upvotes in a day.

Criticism of the UNC frat boys was not widely expressed in viral posts as of May 2nd, 2024. Regardless, there were some non-viral tweets[13] condemning the frat boys during the same timeframe.

GoFundMe Campaign

On May 1st, 2024, X[6] user @RobProvince tweeted a screenshot of a GoFundMe[7] campaign (shown below) called "Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'em a Rager," gaining over 1,600 likes in a day. At the time, the campaign had raised over $1,400. By May 2nd, 2024, the campaign had raised over $429,000, predominantly due to viral posts from the X[8][9] accounts @JordanSchachtel and @EndWokeness, among others.


KIPE gofundme ↑ ||| Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'em a Rager $173,223 raised of $200,000 goal 5.5K donations

The GoFundMe was organized by a man named John Noonan who, according to WRAL News,[10] is reportedly "a national political figure who is not affiliated with the fraternity." The campaign is also "on behalf of Susan Ralston" who has "worked in the White House and knows what she's about," according to the GoFundMe[7] page.

Multiple meme creators and internet users posted content about the GoFundMe, adding it to exploitable meme templates. For instance, on May 2nd, X[11] user @AdamSinger who used the Crying Soyjak vs. Yes Chad template to highlight the difference between the frat boys and pro-Palestinian protestors, gaining over 2,200 likes in less than a day (shown below).


NEEDS: Please ensure the donations are BDS compliant! The Boycat app can help with this!_ URGENT: • Headlamps Airsoft Goggles Gas masks/respirators Especially for our medics <3 Skater helmets • Shields Wood for barrier Knee and elbow pads • Rain ponchos • Canopies Utility gloves ("without reinforced knuckles) of various sizes, especially for small hands Super bright flashlights with strobe, charged .Umbrellas Medical Food: ⚫ Epi-Pens Non-steroid Inhalers. • Headlamps •Organizational bins ⚫hot food for lunch!!! (IMPORTANT!!) • Vegan food Gluten free food. • Ice NO packaged food • NO coffee • NO bagels ⚫NO bananas .NO nuts ⚫!! Fill out this form if you are interested in coordinating a meal!! gofundme Ө = Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'em a Rager $334,172 raised of $350,000 goal 10.5K donations

Others were highly critical of the GoFundMe campaign like X[14] user @johnrobinson on May 2nd, 2024, who highlighted a different GoFundMe campaign for a UNC student with oral cancer, showing that her campaign received far less support, writing in relation, "America today." His tweet received over 270 likes in less than a day (shown below).


John Robinson @johnrobinson Two #GoFundMe's involving UNC students: One has raised $329,000 for a fraternity to throw a party. One has raised $7,000 to help pay medical expenses for a UNC student with oral cancer. America today. Lachlan Markay @lachlan - 20h A GoFundMe has been set up to support the fraternity chapter that helped defend this flag "Armored in Vineyard Vines and Patagonia, fueled by Zyn and White Claws, these triumphant Brohemians protected Old Glory from the unwashed Marxist horde" Meilin Tan @meilintannc Follow So this is me game-planning my life with cancer and making sure my parents aren't worried with debt along with my recovery. Here's a GoFundMe link where anything helps: Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'e... From gofundme.com Medical Expenses for Meilin Tan, organized by Tammy Deal From gofundme.com 45 1359 1.3K lil 163K 口: • 7:31 AM ⚫ May 2, 2024 33.8K Views ...

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