Stirring Photos Show Sheriff’s Deputies Folding American Flag Amidst Rubble After Storm Hits Homes

By Michael Wing
Michael Wing
Michael Wing
Editor and Writer
Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.
July 4, 2021 Updated: July 4, 2021

Two sheriff’s deputies were dispatched when a tornado touched down and severely damaged a number of houses in an Indiana county.

In the wake of the storm, stirring photos were taken as the deputies assessed the damage and found an American flag amidst the debris; the images show the two men carefully folding it—an act of patriotism and respect for their country.

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A photo showing some of the damage caused by the tornado that touched down in Jay County on June 15. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)
Epoch Times Photo
Sergeant Derek Bogenschutz (L) and Deputy Eric Smitley folding an American flag found amidst the debris. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)

The National Weather Service had reported the storm which developed into a supercell on Friday, June 15; a tornado touched down in Jay County, causing significant damage to houses, while downing power lines and a 100-foot communications tower, Fox News reported.

The deputies responded, and after making sure that all the residents were safe, Sergeant Derek Bogenschutz spotted the American flag amidst the piles of debris. He, along with Deputy Eric Smitley, pulled Old Glory from the rubble and decided that folding the flag was the right thing to do.

Bogenschutz had learned the proper way of folding the flag from his father, who’d served in the Army and the Army Legion.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)

One of their colleagues, who was cataloguing the damage, snapped the photographs. They were posted on social media and garnered major media attention for the two officers—who later appeared on “Fox and Friends” for a video interview.

“It just felt right,” Smitley told “Fox and Friends” when asked what made them decide to fold the flag. “Respect for our flag, respect for our country.”

Bogenschutz added, “We have overwhelming support from the community. They’re all coming out helping their neighbors. Everyone’s volunteering where they can.”

Epoch Times Photo
A photo taken cataloguing the damage that occurred during the storm. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)
Epoch Times Photo
Damage caused by the storm that hit Jay County, Indiana, on June 15. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)
Epoch Times Photo
Sgt. Derek Bogenschutz. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)
Epoch Times Photo
Deputy Eric Smitley. (Courtesy of Jay County Sheriff’s Office)

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Michael Wing
Michael Wing
Editor and Writer
Michael Wing is a writer and editor based in Calgary, Canada, where he was born and educated in the arts. He writes mainly on culture, human interest, and trending news.