XENIA — D.J. Yates and his daughter, Nyah, showed their American pride in a big way Sunday.
Yates, owner of DJ’s Dojo, a martial arts center on East Second Street, and Nyah, 9, were out and about getting some food when he noticed something he didn’t like. Actually 19 somethings. Yates and his daughter saw American flags on the ground, likely knocked down due to the high wind, and motorists weren’t stopping or weren’t able to avoid them. Many were submerged in water from heavy rain.
“I could not watch people driving over these flags,” he said. “I was like, no way. I said, ‘Nyah, we have to get this flag,’ “
The pair spent several hours driving around grabbing every flag they found.
“They were scattered all through downtown, all over Shawnee Park, downtown by the courthouse,” Yates said.
Midway through the adventure, Nyah requested a respite. But DJ declined, explaining to her the importance of the flag.
”People died for this country,” he said. “We do not trample our flag. I told her that we need to be proud to be an American. Our flag represents freedom.”
Nyah caught on quickly.
“We got back to the Dojo, she was so happy we got all those flags,” Yates said. “It was a learning experience for her, educating her to what the flag represents. We were so pumped up. I thought it was awesome.”
So did passersby, who noticed what they were doing.
“People were beeping at me and waving, saying thank you,” Yates said. “With all this stuff going on politically, it’s good that people still are proud to be an American. I’ve seen what it’s like in other countries. I know what its like to be an American. I taught her that no matter what, our flag is to be respected.”
Yates called the city on Monday and a public service worker came to pick them up.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.