A Massachusetts man risked his own life to recover a tattered American flag that had been lying on a busy highway during rush hour.

James Deely, 33, of West Bridgewater, was on his way home from work on Aug. 16 when he spotted an American flag on the highway with cars driving over it on Route 24.

Deely thought about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as an elementary school student, and the example he’s now trying to set for his young son Lincoln.

By the time Deely reached his exit in West Bridgewater, he couldn’t get that flag out of his mind and decided he had to return and “save” it.

“I didn’t pick it up to change the world,” Deely said, according to WKRC-TV. “But I’m thinking I’m glad I turned around.”

“That represents your country and the people who fight for your country,” he continued, according to the station. “It represents the freedom instilled in me since I was a kid.”

He waited until there was a break in the traffic to safely cross during the busy five o’clock rush hour.

Deely then picked up the tattered flag and received a somewhat unexpected response.

“I picked the flag up and got a lot of passersby waving, giving me the thumbs up, and honking the horn,” said Deely, according to the station.

In a Facebook post, Deely said, “I grew up and was raised to respect the flag and the country it stands for. It is not something that you forget or let fall by the wayside.”

Tags: Categories: U.S.