Nazi flag raised outside Temple of the High Country, campus and community respond


Andrew Rice and Will Hofmann

Boone Police responded at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to a call of an individual waving a Nazi flag outside of the Temple of the High Country, according to a press release from Boone Police Department. 

By the time responding officers arrived, the individual waving the flag had left the scene and left the flag on the sign outside of the temple. Officers recovered the Nazi flag for evidence. 

“Like many in our community, we at the police department are disheartened this type of activity occurred in our town,” said Sgt. Dennis O’Neal in the press release. 

The investigation is ongoing, according to the press release

“At this time, there is an active investigation to learn more about the person or persons who left the anti-semitic flag on the property of the Temple of the High Country and their motives,” O’Neal said. 

The Boone Police Department asks anyone who may have additional information regarding this incident to call 828-268-6900.

Boone Police do not have any suspects “at this time,” O’Neal said in a phone call. 

The Temple of the High Country did not respond for comment immediately.

App State’s Chief Diversity Officer, Jamie Parsons, offered her support to the Jewish community in an email Thursday following the antisemitic act outside the Temple of the High Country.

“While the flag was not displayed on campus, such an expression of hatred and anti-semitism impacts the well being and sense of safety and belonging that all members of our campus community deserve,” Parsons wrote. 

Parsons wrote the university has activated the Chancellor’s leadership response protocol. The protocol will investigate the incident, evaluate the risk to the community and continue “educational efforts to break down barriers that divide our community.”

Parsons wrote she has been in contact with the Temple of the High Country, North Carolina Hillel, the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies as well as student leaders to “express our condemnation of this act and our solidarity with them.”

In addition, Parsons encouraged students to utilize campus resources such as App State Police, counseling for students, as well as individual counseling

Parsons also recommends students and faculty who have not reached out for support to seek the Dean of Students in the Plemmons Student Union Room 324, on the phone at 828-262-8284 or through email at

Parsons encouraged faculty and staff to reach out to the Employee Assistance Program as well as the Counseling for Faculty and Staff

The Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies is also available for open conversation weekdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Update on Feb. 17:

The Boone Police Department released screenshots of surveillance footage of the suspect Friday.

In a press release, the Boone Police Department described the suspect as a white male wearing a black ski mask, black jacket, camouflage pants and black shoes. 

The suspect was located on security camera footage from the Kangaroo Express located at 1222 W. King St., down the street from the Temple of the High Country. The suspect was seen driving a silver hatchback or SUV and leaving in an unknown direction, according to the press release. 

The App State Hillel, a student-based organization designed to give students opportunities to “learn more about Jewish faith and culture,” issued a statement on Instagram Friday condemning the incident and offering support for the campus community.

“NC Hillel is here for students to be heard and supported as they process these incidents and we work to create a safe and secure community for all students,” the Hillel wrote. 

The App State Interfraternity Council and the Mu Theta chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi issued two statements on Instagram Friday addressing the incident. 

“Unfortunately, the harsh reality of antisemitism came to Boone this weekend,” wrote the chapter. “Two AEPi Brothers discovered that the local temple- built close to campus for the express purpose of providing a safe space for the campus Jewish community- was vandalized with hate symbols.”

In the statement, the brothers said they are committed to using this act as an “opportunity to educate our community and bring our campus together, united against hate.” 

Jackson Bjork, president of the Interfraternity Council at the university, issued a statement  condemning the actions at the Temple of the High Country and offering resources Friday. 

“We recognize that despite recent advancements in cultural awareness, antisemitism is always just beneath the surface and we vow to use the the full force of our council to seek out and eliminate any antisemitic acts in our community,” Bjork wrote.