Fifth-grader lies down to protect the American flag from touching the ground: 'Way to show America how it's done'

Kerry Justich
Three fifth-grade boys go viral for properly folding the American flag after school. (Photo: Facebook)
Three fifth-grade boys go viral for properly folding the American flag after school. (Photo: Facebook)

Fifth-graders tasked with helping to take down the American flag at their Idaho elementary school are being praised for taking the job seriously after one student was pictured lying on his back to protect the flag from touching the ground.

When Amanda Reallan, whose children attend Hayden Meadows Elementary School in Hayden, Idaho, arrived early to pick her children up on Wednesday afternoon, she noticed the three boys struggling to fold the flag while keeping it from touching the ground. Then one of the boys jumped in to save the other two from doing just that by creating a barrier with his body.

Reallan took to her Facebook to share a photo of the event, writing, “Wow! I just watched the most amazing act of Patriotism!” Now, the photo has been shared more than 27,000 times from her page alone.

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“We were in such admiration for how these boys went above and beyond to respect our nation’s flag!” Reallan tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I posted it on my Facebook because it has such a powerful message that needed to be seen.”

Now, the three boys, Jack LeBrick, Casey Dolan, and Naylan Tuttle, are being widely recognized for treating the flag with such respect — something that they learned from their custodian Mac McCarty, according to KHQ-TV, the NBC affiliate in Spokane, Wash., which also serves northern Idaho.

“This is our nation’s flag, our school’s flag. It’s how we represent our country,” LeBrick told the news outlet. “If you let it touch the ground, it means you disrespect our country.”

McCarty, who is a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force, has taught students how to properly fold and store the American flag. After watching LeBrick place himself on the ground to protect it, McCarty expressed how proud he was of all three of the boys. But he wasn’t the only one who would be.

“I think it would be honorable for me, for my dad, and my grandfather,” Naylan Tuttle said of his own family members. “They’ve been in the service in the military, so I think I’d probably make them proud.”

Plenty of people in the community also had something to say in response to KHQ’s Facebook post sharing Reallan’s photo.

“So unbelievably proud of these young men! Way to show America how it’s done. Bravo kiddos,” one person said. While another added, “This is refreshing to see and the parents of these boys should be proud, you’re doing a great job raising the future men of our country.”

And while some tried to make the conversation more political, most agreed that the act was simply a “job well done.”

“The pure simple act of showing respect for our nation’s flag coming from a child has touch thousands of lives,” Reallan concluded. “How we conduct ourselves daily can affect others even when we are not aware that we are!”

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