Some Georgia high school football players had an inspiring little protest of their own this weekend. And it involved running, not kneeling.

While pro National Football League players were locking arms and taking a knee across the country to protest someone or something or other, these high school players decided to exercise their freedom of speech a little differently in their country by celebrating America instead of criticizing it.

The entire Fannin County Rebel team ran onto the field together, each player carrying a large U.S. flag. The patriotic display happened before their game with the Greater Atlanta Christian School Friday night.

The crowd of parents, relatives and local and away fans was moved to loudly cheer the celebration, which was organized by players and parents with coaches’ approval.

“It was an awesome and unifying moment for the audiences on both sides of our stadium,” said Superintendent Michael Gwatney. “And it reminded us that no matter what team we support, we are all Americans.”

The joyous, America-celebrating flag-waving did not help the Fannin Rebels in the night’s football game. They lost to Atlanta Christian 55-7.  But they proved victorious anyway. “Our players certainly won the hearts of our community with their display of patriotism,” said Gwatney.

The superintendent also said the players ran out with all those flags as a special sign of support for America’s military veterans who have served and those men and women currently serving in the armed forces.

Gwatney said the team is especially proud of one of its members who has already joined the military.

Possibly come today, as word of this grassroots display of patriotism spreads across the country, that once unknown team of teenage boys is also likely to win the hearts of a good many other Americans who were not at that game. Leave your comments below.