ORANGE, Texas — A driver dragging a U.S. flag through a parking lot apparently punched another man who tried to save the flag on the 4th of July in Orange, eyewitnesses said. 

Witnesses told police someone approached the car dragging a flag in the Home Depot parking lot in the 600 block of Strickland Avenue in Orange just before 11:02 a.m. July 4. 

The man who tried to save the flag initially believed the driver was dragging the flag by mistake, but then the driver punched him and drove off before police arrived, eyewitnesses said. 

READ THE POLICE REPORT | Orange Police Incident Report

"The man in red was assaulted at Home Depot in Orange because he went to pick up a flag that was dragging behind a vehicle thinking that the owner didn’t know his flag had fallen," Marshall Babcock told 12News in an email. "The owner of the vehicle hit the man in the face, started rambling about slavery, and then just drove off."

Social media posts have been circulating describing the encounter. 

The man who tried to save the flag, Brandon Scott, posted about it on Facebook. 

Scott said he first thought the car was dragging a sign down Martin Luther King Drive and saw the car pull into Home Depot. 

He said he waved down the driver of the Saturn Vue two-door convertible and said, "Hey man, you're dragging something behind you" before the man punched him in the jaw. He said his son was in his car during the incident. 

Scott said he went to the hospital and had multiple fractures and surgery on his jaw. He said doctors told him his jaw will be wired shut for the next four weeks. 

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