A storm of social media

Students go viral after lowering flag in storm

Jesse Hollett
Posted 9/6/17

MIDDLEBURG – Two weeks of non-stop fame for two Coppergate Elementary sixth graders has begun to taper off.

Isaac Davis and Nate Helmuth – who braved a rainstorm to lower and fold the United …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

A storm of social media

Students go viral after lowering flag in storm

From left, Nate Helmuth and Isaac Davis, both 11, stand at the same pole they folded the United States flag at during an Aug. 17 rainstorm at Coppergate Elementary.
From left, Nate Helmuth and Isaac Davis, both 11, stand at the same pole they folded the United States flag at during an Aug. 17 rainstorm at Coppergate Elementary.
Posted

MIDDLEBURG – Two weeks of non-stop fame for two Coppergate Elementary sixth graders has begun to taper off.

Isaac Davis and Nate Helmuth – who braved a rainstorm to lower and fold the United States flag – gained national media attention for their honorable treatment of Old Glory. Jennifer Moore teacher and school social media manager said the fading attention is bittersweet.

Bitter, mainly because for two weeks she has oscillated constantly from teacher and social media manager, and sweet, because Davis and Helmuth’s patriotic gesture that reached more than 118,000 people around the world.

Moore said the gesture has given many a respite from the constant barrage of bad news, if only for a moment.

“How many people it touched how many people it affected, how many people saw it – that’s what surprised me a lot. People all the way in England saw this,” said Helmuth, 11. “People all across the country saw this.”

The notoriety began on Sunday, August 20 when Moore posted a picture of the two safety patrollers lowering and folding flag that was snapped by fellow teacher Kim Miskowski on Thursday, August 17.

Once it soared through the web of social media, the photo quickly became a viral sensation, and come Wednesday, August 23, Moore was receiving media requests from across the country.

“Everywhere I turned around I was getting a request from a news organization. I was like, what? I’m just a teacher,” Moore said. “And the comments are still coming in, they’re still commenting. They’ve come from all over the world.”

The children have received accolades, including “Good Citizenship” awards from the American Security Council Foundation, and will attend Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s next cabinet meeting to recite the Pledge of Allegiance after a recent invitation.

Davis is dumbfounded at the attention the gesture has received and said, rain or shine, they will continue to lower and fold the flag.

“We do it every day,” Davis said. “We put it up in the morning and in the afternoon, we take it down. We just do it every day.”

Two Coppergate Elementary teachers taught the children the proper method of folding the flag with 13 folds.

Helmuth said one man contacted his mother after seeing the photographs online and donated $150 in his name to a local charity.

As far as precedence, Moore, who has taught at Coppergate since the school opened, and said nothing the school has ever posted on social media has come close to reaching as many people as the flag folding did.

A close second, she said, occurred last year when two students submitted a video to the Jim Harbin Student Media Festival that honored Clay County’s first black teacher.

Even then, Moore said, that post only reached a fraction of the views Helmuth and Davis’ actions attracted.

“It’s good for the world, the nation, at this time to see something so heartwarming and positive,” Moore said. “I wish that would carry on. Selfishly, I wish I didn’t need to respond to messages every 5 minutes. But, you know, it’s worth it. I don’t mind them blowing up my phone.”

“In this time where there are so many divisions and separations in our country, it would be good just for our school community, let alone the world, for people to see this,” Moore said.

Coppergate Elementary has a history of honoring American traditions and veterans. In 2015, the school created a ‘Wall of Heroes’ with help from students and the school’s military life counselor to honor military families and veterans.

Both Helmuth and Davis hope to attend the University of Florida for engineering and use their knowledge to help others – or play in the National Football League, whichever comes first.

“They haven’t been different kids since this happened,” Moore said. “They’re the same kids today that they were the day they took that flag down.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment