Find out why the flag is a problem in the video below.
Video credit: WSOCTV9
Marcus Lemonis is the COO of Gander RV, which was formerly known as Camping World. He’s facing possible jail time, not because of embezzlement or corporate malpractice but because he refuses to take down an American flag that is flying in one of the company’s stores.
The store in question is in Statesville, NC, and the issue is that the flag is too big, measuring in at 40 feet by 80 feet, or 3,200 square feet, which would be typical of a large house.
“We have flown this flag for a long time,” Lemonis said. “As I told the city…it’s not coming down under any circumstance.”
But city officials insist that the flag is too big and filed a lawsuit on May 7 against Holiday Kamper Co., the parent company of Gander RV. Lemonis can go to jail if he doesn’t act within 30 days.
According to Statesville City Attorney Leah Messick, the company originally applied for a permit for a 40-foot by 25-foot flag but flew the bigger one instead.The filing stated, “In June 2018, Gander RV (formerly known as Camping World where Lemonis owns 36 million shares) 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.”
Speaking to Fox News, Lemonis said he’s not going to budge.
“I would never want to break the law or be in contempt of any court of any kind, but in this particular situation, I understand that if I don’t comply with that order that I could and would be arrested and out in jail until the flag came down,” he said.
He added: “I don’t normally advocate for violating ordinances and things of that nature, but we have 14,000 employees and several million customers and I have a fiduciary responsibility to follow their edict as well.”
Lemonis insists that the same size flag flies in their stores in 180 cities and was never a problem. “We know that before the flag pole goes up and before the flag goes up we want to ensure that people are safe. We are not messing with the FAA in terms of air traffic rules,” he said.
The drama started last October after the company was informed by the city that it would be fined $50 every day until they took down the flag. The accumulated fines now amount to more than $10,000.
But Lemonis said that if he was asked by the board of directors and the company, he would willingly pay the legal fines. “In this particular case, I think the board of directors and the company would like to pay the fine themselves because they believe that this is a stance of our company, not just a market stance,” he said.
A petition on Change.org even appeared called “Let Camping World & Gander Outdoors Fly The American Flag!”
“The City of Statesville has filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to require Gander RV in Statesville, NC to take down their American Flag. They are imposing a $50/day fine retroactive to 10/15/18,” the petition said.
The petition was originally seeking 30,000 signatures but managed to get 213,787.
“Many cities like Statesville have requested that Camping World and Gander Outdoors take down their American Flags. WE WON’T DO IT! Stand with us. This is about more than just the flag. This is about our Veterans, Military, and the men and women that have sacrificed for this great country. They are the reason we fly the flag and they are the reason we will NOT take it down!”
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