UNC student who defended American flag from campus mob 'honored to give back to the nation'


A University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill student felt "honored to give back to the nation" while defending an American flag on the quad that protesters were trying to take down on Tuesday.

"Yesterday, my fraternity brother [Guillermo Estrada] 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," Chapel Hill student Alex Jones said in a Wednesday post on X. "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."

Anti-Israel agitators on Tuesday morning initially replaced the American flag — which had been flying at half-mast after four Charlotte officers were killed in the line of duty Monday — with a Palestinian flag before UNC Chancellor Lee Roberts stepped in with law enforcement officers to return the American flag.

When activists, some of whom were not affiliated with Chapel Hill, tried to take the flag down a second time, a group of students, including fraternity brothers, stepped in to stop Old Glory from hitting the ground. A photo of the moment went vial on social media.

"For me, protecting the flag was not about taking a stance within the ongoing Israel-Palestine discourse," Jones explained. "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."

He added that he believes "in the right to free speech and peaceful protest" and is "honored to give back to the nation that has given me and my family countless opportunities."

"…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," Jones wrote.

Since the photo of the students holding up the flag garnered tens of thousands of likes this week — and positive responses from politicians and celebrities alike — a GoFundMe created by a third party for Pi Kappa Phi's Chapel Hill chapter has raised more than $400,000 "to throw this frat the party they deserve."... (Read more)

Submitted 46 days ago

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