GoFundMe raises thousands for UNC fraternity that guarded flag during protests

FILE-Side-by-side photo of University of North Carolina student protest over Gaza war and the American flag on the UNC campus surrounded by a temporary barrier. (Protest photo by Peter Zay/Anadolu via Getty Images) (American flag photo by Sean Rayfor

A GoFundMe page has amassed massive donations for a University of North Carolina fraternity that protected the American flag during Gaza war protests earlier this week. 

As of Thursday, over 13,000 people have donated more than $427,000. The "Pi Kappa Phi Men Defended their Flag. Throw 'em a Rager" GoFundMe page has a goal of $450,000. 

The money is for members of Pi Kappa Phi, who told WRAL News in North Carolina via email that they are not involved in the fundraising effort and have not collected any of the cash.  

RELATED: Gaza war university protests: Map and updates

According to WRAL News, John Noonan, a national political figure with no connections to the fraternity, organized the sarcastic fundraising page.

Country music singer John Rich offered to perform a free concert for fraternity members after seeing a trending video circulating on social media of the fraternity members protecting the flag as protesters threw objects at them, Newsweek reported


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. On Tuesday, protestors removed the American flag and raised the Palestinian flag following arrests

During a Gaza war demonstration on Tuesday, protesters targeted the American flag on The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's quad — which was flying at half-mast to honor the four Charlotte law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. 

RELATED: UCLA protests: Tense scene as police dismantle pro-Palestine encampment

Protesters replaced the American flag with a Palestinian flag, angering students and spurring members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity to get involved, FOX News reported

Dan Stompel, a junior at the University of North Carolina, was among multiple students who protected the American flag from protesters. Stompel and his classmates held the flag for over an hour until police cleared the campus protest.

RELATED: University protests must remain peaceful, Biden says

Extra barricades were placed around the area as UNC’s Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts assisted students with positioning the flag on the flagpole. 

The University of North Carolina protests this week are among several demonstrations on college campuses nationwide over the Gaza war in the Middle East, with protesters setting up encampments on campuses, occupying university buildings, and battling with police officers. 

Protests started at Columbia University and have been rampant at other schools, including Texas, California, Tennessee, and Massachusetts.

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.