Teen Holds Flag From Touching the Ground Outside His School

Cole Dotson said he was doing his duty as an American citizen.

May 27, 2016, 10:09 AM

— -- Cole Dotson, 18, has the utmost respect for his country.

A photo snapped of Dotson holding the flag from touching the ground outside his high school has gone viral on Facebook, with nearly 60,000 shares since his mother Rhonda Pester posted the photo on May 22.

Cole told ABC News he was driving by Continental High School in Continental, Ohio, when he noticed the American flag had fallen to the ground. He parked his car, picked up the flag and called his grandmother, who works at the school, for help.

He said he stood there for about 20 minutes until the flag could be raised again.

"I was just doing what I thought was my duty as an American citizen and future Marine," Dotson said. Dotson reports to Parris Island, South Carolina, for Marine boot camp on June 6.

U.S. Code for the flag states the flag "should never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water, or merchandise."

Dotson said he comes from a military family -- his dad was a Marine -- and that's informed his career choice.

As class president, he'll be speaking at his graduation on Sunday. Tim Eding, dean of students and athletic director at Continental High School, told ABC News the Cole is "a good young man."

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