Camping World CEO: I’ll Go To Jail Before Taking American Flag Down
Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is taking a stand and is willing to go to jail over it. He insists he won’t take down an oversized American flag he has flying over his RV dealership in Statesville, North Carolina, even if it means going to jail. The city of Statesville is suing Lemonis’ dealership to remove the 40-by-80-foot flag, saying it violates a local ordinance that limits flags to 25-by-40-feet, according to NBC’s WCNC.
“If I don’t take it down, I will be in violation of the court order. Ultimately, their reaction is from the city that I will go to jail,” Lemonis told Fox News’s Martha MacCallum. “The flag’s not coming down,” he defiantly added. The flag can be seen flying over Camping World-Gander RV along Interstate 77. The so-called city leaders are threatening to slap Lemonis with a $50 a day fine until he takes the flag down. And that is retroactive to October of 2018. He told them to get stuffed.
Lemonis said he flies oversized flags at all Camping World locations across the country. “I don’t advocate an ordinance being broken period. Let’s start with that,” Lemonis told WCNC in May. “In this particular case, I feel like the ordinance was flawed. We’ve been challenging this for years.” I so admire a guy who stands fast on his principles. This guy definitely has a backbone.
From Fox News:
“Lemonis then added local politicians told him the flag could endanger someone because of its size and its proximity to Interstate 77.
“They made the claim it could cause an accident on the freeway because it was too distracting — it was too beautiful,” he said of the 40×80-foot banner.
“However, he admitted keeping the flag as-is is against the law.
“There’s no question that I violated that ordinance,” the businessman added.
“When veterans show up at the stores for the flag raisings, and when they come on Saturdays and do their veteran rides, and they weep at the bottom of the flagpole, that’s the conviction that I need to say it’s just not going to come down. I would rather go to jail.”‘
AT 11: Tonight, the Camping World CEO @marcuslemonis spoke on camera for the first time about the legal battle over this huge American flag flying in Statesville. He's doubling down on his argument and says he's even willing to go to jail over this @wcnc pic.twitter.com/ODUqObXjIl
— Chloe Leshner (@ChloeLeshner) May 31, 2019
“The ordinance doesn’t matter to me,” he said, referring to the law governing the size of flags. “If you look at the North Carolina statute, it says as long as it’s not impairing someone’s health and well-being it’s not a big deal.” I certainly don’t think it is and if the leaders of the city find the American flag so offensive, they should move to another country where they feel more at home. Just sayin’.
The CEO’s employees cheered him when he said he was standing his ground. “This is about a city and a flag that does not belong to us, it doesn’t belong to you; it belongs to all of us,” said Lemonis, chief executive officer of Camping World, which owns Gander, and star of CNBC’s reality television show “The Profit.” You know what they say… any publicity is good publicity.
The attack on Lemonis and the flag churned up a massive backlash from citizens there and rightly so. The mayor of Statesville 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,” said Lemonis. He said he hasn’t heard from the mayor personally. The city council will vote on the ordinance change in July.
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