DES MOINES, Iowa —
A FedEx driver seen in a viral video this week salvaging an American flag from burning will keep his job, the delivery company tweeted on its corporate account Saturday morning.
An Iowa City Press-Citizen photographer captured the incident in which Matt Uhrin used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze before taking the flag from protesters. The demonstrators said they were protesting against what they call the Republican agenda, which includes positions on gay rights, civil rights and the controversial Bakken oil pipeline.
The tweet read: “We have reviewed the matter in Iowa City involving driver Matt Uhrin. He remains a FedEx employee & we have no plans to change his status.”
Police cited two protesters, Kelli Ebensberger, 21, of Iowa City, and Paul Osgerby, 23, of Ames, for open burning, which is a simple misdemeanor.
The incident even prompted an online petition Friday demanding that FedEx not fire Uhrin.
The petition, which has collected more than 11,000 signatures as of Saturday evening, reads: “Let’s make sure Matt Uhrin keeps his job at FedEx. He was standing up for our American flag and should be commended, not punished.”
Uhrin has been praised on social media for his actions, some calling him a hero.
“@FedEx You have an AMAZING ?employee in Iowa City that saved our flag from being burned. Give him a raise!! ????? #PATRIOT #MAGA #POTUS,” one tweet read.
“As a wife of a veteran &?recipient, I thank u #MattUhrin for standing up for our flag! You’re a hero & this brought tears to my eyes #FedEx” read another.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter weighed in, tweeting: “I will only use Federal Express now. THANK YOU, FED EX MAN!”
Uhrin could not be reached for comment but did tell the Press-Citizen his actions were not related to his employer.