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A Garbage Man Saw An American Flag In The Trash – Here’s What He Did About It

A Utah sanitation worker is being hailed as a patriot for properly folding a discarded American flag. He says he was just doing what's right

What would you do if you saw an American Flag discarded in a trashcan? One Utah garbage man answered the call and gave our Old Glory the respect it deserves. He doesn’t consider himself a hero though, just a man doing his job.

Marine Veteran Sanitation Worker Saves American Flag

Don Gardner, a Marine Corps Veteran, found the flag in a trash bin while on his waste truck route. He then took the flag out of the trash and properly folded it all by himself. 

It’s impressive enough that he found and respected the flag, but he went further by properly folding the flag by himself. I don’t think I could do that with two people, much less just with the help of my truck seat.

Woman Accidentally Throws Out American Flag.

The woman didn’t even realize she’d thrown away the flag but was glad that Gardner did the right thing. 

 Cowley said she felt “sheer embarrassment” when she realized what she had done…”It was really a moment of peace and comfort,” she recalled. “It was really humbling to see Don do that.” 

I don’t know how you make such a careless mistake like that, especially if you’re in a veteran household. I was always taught to respect and honor the flag, and not treat it like garbage. 

H/T Fox News.

Related: The New American Flag? Redesign Sparks Outrage

Respecting The Flag

It is fashionable to bash the flag and this country. Too many people don’t respect the symbols that bind our nation together. So it was wonderful to see someone respecting an American symbol for once. 

For those wondering about the proper way to dispose of a flag, this is from the VFW on proper flag disposal:

  • Ceremonial Flag Burning: The Code states that if it is not in good enough condition to represent our country, it should be taken down and destroyed. The dignified manner they recommend is burning. You will want to make sure to follow proper technique when burning an American flag. First, make sure the fire is big and hot enough to incinerate the cloth completely. Fold the flag(s) properly and place it on top of the flames. While it is burning, show respect by saluting, singing the National Anthem or reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Once you are sure it is entirely burned, put the fire out.

Other options include donating the flag to a local VFW for proper disposal or buying it in a container. 

Ragged Old Flag

While burning is the proper way to dispose of a flag, some use flag burning to protest America.

Personally, I find flag desecration to be abhorrent, but it is protected free speech in this country. The flag that stands for freedom also stands for the right to burn it in a time of distress or protest. I understand a lot of you are against it, and I completely respect and honor that. But Freedom of Expression means we cannot stop people from expressing themselves in a non-violent manner. 

Let’s end this with my favorite tribute to the Stars & Stripes, Johnny Cash’s “Ragged Old Flag.” 

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