Future Marine Cole Dotson was driving by Continental High School in Continental, Ohio when he saw the American flag lying on the ground.
He instinctively stopped the car and held it up until help arrived.
He called his grandmother who is an employee of the school and proceeded to wait, holding the flag off the ground until help arrived.
ABC News reports:
He said he stood there for about 20 minutes until the flag could be raised again.
“I was just doing what I thought was my duty as an American citizen and future Marine,” Dotson said. Dotson reports to Parris Island, South Carolina, for Marine boot camp on June 6.
U.S. Code for the flag states the flag “should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise.”
Cole comes from a military family and was also taught in scouting that the flag deserves respect and should never touch the ground.
Cole will be be speaking at his graduation on Sunday as class president. Dean of Students, Tim Eding, told ABC News the Cole is “a good young man.”
The son of a Marine, Cole’s photo went viral on Facebook. It had nearly 60,000 shares since his mother Rhonda Pester posted the photo on May 22. It has since been removed and a special page set up for Cole.
His mom had posted:
When your son calls his grandmother and says he has a problem….it’s usually not good. This is where she found him this morning. The flag fell to the ground, he saw it, stopped and held it until someone from school could come and put it back up. Proud of you Cole Dotson! ❤️?There is hope for America! ooh rah! #bleedingredwhite&blue Cole Dotson’s Mom- Rhonda Ordway Pester.
What a fine young man! In a world where we see a lot of disrespect, a lot of entitlement, it is refreshing to see such character!
“I love this flag and this country. God bless America.” Cole Dotson