Many of us salute it or pledge our allegiance daily. It flies somberly at half-mast during times of national mourning.
We often flinch visibly when someone steps on it, insults it or employs some other means of desecration. It’s often referred to as the single most powerful, poignant symbol of American pride.
Our nation’s flag began officially flying way back in 1777. According to Culture Trip, it only had 13 stars to start and eventually amassed a total of 50 stars, once Hawaii became a state.
Our flag’s colors are filled with symbolic associations. Culture Trip notes that red represents valor and bravery, white denotes purity and blue stands for perseverance, justice and vigilance.
So it’s no real surprise that we’ve developed a variety of customs to protect it. American flags that are no longer usable must be destroyed respectfully, and they should never touch the ground.
Perhaps that’s why the recent actions of a Glen Burnie, Maryland, FedEx driver are being hailed across the country. In the same state where Francis Scott Key once penned “The Star-Spangled Banner,” this gentleman paused to pay his own personal tribute.
Heavy winds had knocked over a residential flagpole, leaving Old Glory lying on the lawn. Baltimore-based WJZ-TV reported that the home belongs to Gail Cook, whose security camera captured what happened next.
The FedEx driver stopped his vehicle in the street and immediately got out. He first tried to lift the flagpole himself, to no avail.
That’s when he promptly removed the flag from the pole. He carefully folded it and placed it neatly in a box.
Then, for good measure, he retrieved and folded the purple Baltimore Ravens flag, too. Folks in this area feel pretty strongly about their football team, after all.
The driver made sure both flags were snug inside the crate. Then he left it on Cook’s covered front porch and quietly drove away.
WJZ later reported that this particular FedEx driver is a former U.S. Marine. Clearly, he felt a reverent sense of duty when he saw what had transpired.
Cook’s Facebook comment expressed her grateful enthusiasm. “Thanks FedEx!!! I hope he gets the recognition he deserves, I can’t thank him enough!” she wrote.
The video rapidly went viral once Cook posted it online. Unsurprisingly, appreciative reactions began pouring in from all over.
As one Facebook user wrote, “Integrity what you do when no one is watching or at least you think that no one’s watching.”
Another user was just slightly more fervent, leaving an admiring comment that read, “Once a Marine always a Marine. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for protecting our flag.”
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