STATESVILLE, N.C. – A city is going after an RV and camping business for apparently having too much pride in their country.
Statesville has an ordinance about the size of a flag that can be flown outside of a business.
So when Gander RV and Camping World in North Carolina started flying an oversized version of the stars and stripes, city officials filed a lawsuit against the owner.
So is it coming down?
Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World, says he won’t budge on this decision.
“The flag isn’t coming down. It’s the only thing I know for certain,” Lemonis said. “I know I’m going to die. I know I’m going to pay taxes. And I know I’m not taking the flag down.”
A statement from Statesville officials spelled out the details of the civil suit, which is trying to fine the business $50 a day – retroactive to October 15th of 2018.
‘In June, 2018, Gander RV (formerly known as Camping World) filed an application with the Statesville Planning Department to display a 40×25-foot flag on its property. The permit was approved, but when the flag was raised two months later, it was determined the company was flying a 40×80-foot flag, which is prohibited by City ordinance.
After several attempts to have Gander RV replace the flag with the permitted size, the City notified Gander in October, 2018, that the $50-per-day fine would be initiated until the flag was replaced.
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Statesville City Attorney Leah Messick filed an injunction against Holiday Kamper Co. (owner of Gander RV in Statesville) for violating the City’s regulations on displaying flags. The complaint asks the Court to order Gander RV to comply with the ordinance.
Gander RV has 30 days to respond to the complaint.’
Gander RV has been apparently been flying the 3,200-square-foot flag at its Statesville location for more than six months. The company had received a permit for a 1,000-square-foot flag, but the owner decided to step up the size.
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 18, 2019
Camping World sent out a statement after the city filed their suit.
“This is about more than just the Flag… Factory Unauthorized Sale This is about our Veterans, Military, and the men and women that have sacrificed for this great Country. The City of Statesville, North Carolina has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to require Gander RV in Statesville to take down their American Flag. They are imposing a $50/day fine retroactive to 10/15/18. Many cities like Statesville have requested that Camping World and Gander Outdoors take down their American Flags. WE WON’T DO IT!”
Lemonis may be held in contempt of court if he doesn’t remove the flag, but he says if there’s not risk to safety — it’s there to stay.
The city said the following in a statement to the press.
“We take our laws and ordinances very seriously. Our doors are open to any business looking to prosper and grow in our community. We only ask that the proper channels are followed. That is the first and necessary step to any potential change in code.”
Want to help the patriotic company keep their flag?