On July 26, one Kentucky man on the way home from church with his pregnant wife in the pouring rain saw an American flag on the ground and instinctively pulled his car over to pick it up and fold it.
Security footage from the Murray bank in Murray, Kentucky, showed Michael Pritchard calmly standing in the downpour, folding the flag. The flag was one of many flown on July 26 to honor the victims of the Chattanooga massacre, in which a Muslim gunman murdered four Marines and a Navy sailor.
Pritchard told WPSD, “It was just the right thing to do. There was a need that needed to be attended to. I don’t know how long it had been laying there or anything, but I knew it didn’t need to be where it was.”
Pritchard never was a member of the Boy Scouts or the armed services, but he learned how to fold the flag from his fifth-grade teacher. He recalled, “Two or three people got to go out and raise and lower the flag. That was always exciting.”
Darren Jones, vice-president of the Murray Bank, asked the same question others were asking: “Would I stop and pick the flag up and take the time to actually fold it?”
Pritchard had only one request: to pay his actions forward by doing something nice for someone else. He concluded, “Whether its picking up the flag, or whatever, everybody can do something good.”
According to the American Legion, “The Flag Code states that the flag should not touch anything beneath it, including the ground. This is stated to indicate that care should be exercised in the handling of the flag, to protect it from becoming soiled or damaged. You are not required to destroy the flag when this happens. As long as the flag remains suitable for display, even if washing or dry-cleaning is required, you may continue to display the flag as a symbol of our great country.”