N.C. City Demands Defiant Camping World CEO Remove Giant American Flag

US aircraft carrier USS George Washington crew hoist the national flag during the 'Keen Sword', a US-Japan military exercise at the Pacific Ocean on December 10, 2010. The eight-day-long exercise which started on Decomber 3 ends on December 10 as around 10,500 US service members and their Japanese Self Defence …
TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is refusing to take down a giant American flag flying over his Gander RV business in Statesville, North Carolina, despite the city’s demands that the flag be taken down and has even taken him to court to force him to obey.

Lemonis says he will not remove the 40-by-80-foot flag even though the city said it violates a city ordinance because it is too large.

The millionaire owner says he won’t do it. “There is no way that flag is coming down,” he said.

Lemonis told his Twitter followers that the city had filed a lawsuit against him.

The city also began charging the CEO a fine of $50 per day until or unless he removes the flag. The city also made the fine retroactive to October 15 meaning that Lemonis owes the city $11,000.

The city claims it won’t allow a flag that size within 100 feet of the highway and that flags larger than 25 by 40 feet are illegal.

Lemonis says he does not care how much the city tries to fine him. “I don’t care if it goes to $500 a day. It’s not coming down,” he said.

“My family has been car dealers, had been car dealers since the 1960s, and our key trademark was always flying our flag in our dealership in south Florida,” Lemonis told the media. “My family is largely immigrants of the country.”

Lemonis launched a petition to find people who agree with him that the flag should stay. It has already gained more than 118,000 signatures.

“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,” the petition says.

“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!” the petition added.

Lemonis also notes that the city can shove its rules because he owns the property. “The property that’s there belongs to us, we pay taxes, and the size of the flag isn’t hurting anybody,” Lemonis said.

Even as Lemonis seems to be standing on his rights as an American, this is the same Camping World CEO who criticized outdoors retailer Gander Mountain, a company his firm acquired in 2017, for adding an array of firearms to its inventory.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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