When three fifth grade cub scouts were chosen to take down the flag at their school, they had no idea that they’d be participating in a patriotic act that would catch the attention of thousands of people across the nation.
As Amanda Reallan waited for her children to come out of Hayden Meadows Elementary School in Hayden, Idaho, she noticed the trio taking the flag down and struggling to fold it up. After a few “close calls” in which the flag nearly touched the ground, she watched one of the boys lie down under the flag to prevent that from happening.
Reallan quickly snapped a picture and later posted it to Facebook, asking for others to help the amazing story go viral.
“Wow! I just watched the most amazing act of Patriotism!” wrote Reallan. “Was waiting to pick up my children from school when three boys took down the flag. They were having a hard time making sure it didn’t touch the ground when the third boy laid under it to honor it, not letting it touch the ground!”
Since that post was made, it has been shared thousands of times, and several reports have covered the story on television and other news outlets. Everyone is praising these kids for their respect for the flag and their creative means of showing it.
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“This is our nation’s flag,” says Jack LeBreck, the boy who was seen lying under the flag. “If you let it touch the ground, it means you disrespect your country.”
The boys have been taking their newfound fame in stride and say their actions were inspired by the school custodian, Mac McCarty, who the kids call “Mr. Mac.” Mr. Mac served for 20 years in the Air Force and, as a veteran, has the important job of helping choose which children will be responsible for putting up and taking down the flag.
“What they did yesterday was obviously all on them,” Mr. Mac told reporters. “They did themselves proud, they did their families proud, they did their school proud, and I am very proud of them.”
Learn more about the boys and their creative display of patriotism in the video below.
Since Reallan’s post went viral, she says there have been some questions about whether or not the boys were genuine in their actions or simply acting. To that, she says, “These boys had no idea I was taking the photo. They took it upon themselves to protect the flag.”
We hope more of America’s children can grow up with that kind of respect for our country instilled in their hearts.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?