The photo of a young man holding an American flag so that it wouldn’t touch the ground has gone viral.
Eighteen-year-old Cole Dotson, a senior at Continental High School in Continental, Ohio, was driving by the school when he saw that the flag had fallen to the ground. He stopped his car and held the flag up, calling his grandmother for assistance.
Dotson’s grandmother, who works at the school, arrived shortly after and took a picture of her grandson while they waited for help. Dotson’s mother later posted the image to Facebook, where it was shared more than 24,000 times.
“When your son calls his grandmother and says he has a problem… it’s usually not good,” she wrote. “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!”
Dotson took to Facebook to express gratitude for the support he has received, adding that he didn’t expect recognition for his good deed.
“This picture of me got almost 100 likes and 60 shares in two hours,” he wrote, according to WBRC. “Makes me proud. Thank you all for the support! I didn’t intend to get recognized for what I did. But I am sure glad to see the support and respect for the flag. I love this flag and this country. God bless America.”
Joel Mengerink, superintendent of Continental schools, said he wasn’t surprised by Dotson’s actions.
“Something like this wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Cole,” he told CNN. “He takes great pride in our country and he knows how to show proper respect to the flag.”
He said that Dotson is scheduled to speak at graduation, and added that he plans to join the Marine Corps.