by Lisa Tome
It is said that "Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching."
If that's the case, Perry Jones has the utmost integrity.
As an evening shift custodian, working daily from 2:30-11 p.m. at Rising Sun High School, Jones is responsible for taking down the flags from the school flag pole each afternoon.
While typically, proper flag folding is a chore for two people, Jones uses a long school cafeteria table as a substitute for a second person. He carefully lays the flag down and then follows all the steps - the horizontal folds ending with a small triangle of only the flag's stars visible.
"I respect the flag and what it stands for," said Jones, last week as he finished the flag folding ritual, in the mostly empty cafeteria.
He explained that he's been taking the flags down daily since he got the job at the school four years ago. The proper flag folding is part of his daily routine. "If it's raining we don't put the flags up," said Jones. "This is part of my job." But Jones said he was never told he had to fold the flag any particular way. "No one ever said do it a certain way. But I take the flags down. It's part of being an American," he said.
Jones also isn't sure where or when he learned to fold the flag properly. He said when he was 10-years-old, his father, a U.S. Army veteran, died. He said he first saw a flag folded properly at his father's funeral.
The school’s principal, Charles Helm, complimented Jones. “He does a very nice job. He works hard and works to ensure the appearance and cleanliness of Rising Sun High School,” Helm said.
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