STATESVILLE, N.C. — The CEO of the company flying a huge American flag in Statesville said he'll pay the fines the city is demanding but will not take the flag down. He said he's even willing to go to jail over this debate.
"The flag is not coming down under any circumstance,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World. He’s being sued by the City of Statesville over a 40 by 80 foot flag flying at Gander RV.
The city's ordinance limits flags to 25 by 40 feet.
"I don’t advocate an ordinance being broken period. Let’s start with that. In this particular case, I feel like the ordinance was flawed. We've been challenging this for years,” he said
The city has been pushing Camping World to replace it with a smaller flag and is attempting to fine them $50 a day dating all the way back to October 2018.
The backlash to the city's response was swift and widespread.
The Mayor proposed a change in the ordinance that would allow the flag to fly freely.
"Now since the public outcry, all of a sudden an emergency ordinance change happening,” says Lemonis. He said he hasn’t heard from the Mayor personally.
Lemonis said he believes there shouldn’t be any restriction on the size of a flag.
"The flag pole or the flag size should not be regulated unless the health wellness and safety of people is in question,” said Lemonis.
The city council will vote on the ordinance change in July.