Who had fraternity brothers guarding the American flag on their May bingo card?

No one? Surprisingly, me neither. But last week the young men of Pi Kappa Phi at the University of North Carolina (UNC) did just that. They huddled around an American flag to keep it from being taken down as they were hit with rocks and bottles by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Their picture went viral. And if you’re a patriotic, red-blooded American, you felt a sense of hope again.

Pro-Palestinian protesters took down an American flag at the UNC campus last week, putting up a Palestinian flag instead. It flew for a short time in the campus quad until the UNC chancellor and police officers took it down and raised the American flag again. Even these authority figures were met with flying objects, as well as a lot of middle fingers from the anti-Israeli crowd.

Guillermo Estrada, a UNC student and Pi Kappa Phi member, saw the incident and posted about it on X (formerly Twitter), explaining that the situation was hard to stomach. He noted that after the American flag was back up, some student counter-protesters began to sing the National Anthem. When Pro-Palestinian protesters began to come for the flag again, several Pi Kappa Phi members surrounded it, refusing to let it anyone else near it.

“We stood for an hour defending the flag so many fight to protect,” Estrada eloquently said, enduring profanity-laced tirades and flying objects.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms of religion, speech, assembly, and the right to petition in America. The pro-Palestinian protesters who are American citizens have every right to hold peaceful protests.

But the First Amendment does not secure the freedom to put up a foreign flag in place of the American flag, on American soil. It does not secure anyone’s right to take over public buildings or deface public statues.

Pro-Palestinian protests and American counter-protests have occurred on college campuses across the nation over the past several weeks. From all accounts, there were peaceful protests at the University of Alabama. The students there gave speeches, shouted their beliefs, and counter-protesters sang the National Anthem. It seems all the students found common ground at the end of the event when they came together to chant a more explicit version of “Let’s Go Brandon.” That “Let’s Go Brandon” mantra really seems to unify people these days!

Protests at the University of Mississippi were also highlighted on X. While there, American counter-protesters sang the National Anthem and drowned out anti-Israeli protesters.

Patriotic students also marched through the University of Chicago waving American flags and playing Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Counter-protesters at Louisiana State University sought to drown out pro-Palestinian protesters by chanting “USA.”

From what I can tell, the Southeastern Conference schools (SEC) are winning the patriotism contests. Obviously, the SEC really is where “it just means more.”

But unfortunately, above the Mason-Dixon line you have the People’s Republic of Columbia University. This is where pro-Palestinian protesters and university professors literally locked arms to prevent Jewish students from entering the encampment on campus. Jewish students were targeted for intimidation, and it appears many protesters were pro-Hamas – or pro-terrorism.

Columbia’s administration allowed protesters to gain so much control that they are having to cancel commencement ceremonies, fearing retaliation. Welcome to Columbia – where the inmates appear to be running their very expensive asylum!

At George Washington University, the statue of George Washington was vandalized, defaced, and made to look like a terrorist. The protesters for Hamas at GWU have overrun barriers, torn down the American flag, and sought to intimidate Jewish students with antisemitic speech.

The milquetoast president of GWU described the situation there as “not a peaceful protest.” Yep, that’s all she could say about the campus chaos, as well as the destruction of the “Father of our Country’s” statue.

It seems you can’t fix stupid in Congress or college in Washington, D.C. right now.

Many of these protesters are KIDS so here’s an idea – expel them. Send them packing. Teach them a lesson in real-world civility so they can have careers one day, as well as stay out of prison.

While “frat brothers saving American flags” was not on my list of things to watch for in May, some of the gentlemen of Generation Z have renewed my hope for this nation’s future. Many appear to be patriotic. They’ve got some grit and they’re not afraid to take a stand for what’s right. They may be wearing Vineyard Vines and Apple watches, but they’re tougher than we thought.

Kristin Landers is a substitute teacher and freelance writer. Landers’ previous work includes serving as Communications Director for the Alabama Policy Institute and working for Citizens Against a Legalized Lottery (CALL) to defeat legalized gambling in the state of Alabama.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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