The city of Statesville has decided to escalate their battle with the CEO of Gander RV because they say he’s not honoring an agreement to limit the size of the American flag the company displays at their Statesville location.
Charlotte’s WBTV News reports:
The City of Statesville has filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order an injunction to force a local business to take down a giant American flag.
The flag is flying over the Gander RV lot on the edge of town near Interstate 77. People driving the interstate have a clear view of the 40 foot by 80 foot flag.
The problem is, according to the city, the flag is almost double the size that is allowed under the city codes.
The codes are in place to regulate the size of signs and other outdoor marketing devices and also to limit the size of flags. Currently, the largest flag allowed would be 25 feet by 40 feet.
The business was informed in September they could not continue to fly the much bigger flag but it stayed up.
Three years before, the company asked for a variance in the codes and that was denied.
Because CEO and chairman Marcus Lemonis refused to take down the flag and replace it with a smaller one, the business has been fined $50 a day since October 2018. The amount in fines is now over $10,000.
According to WSOC-TV, this battle has been going in since 2015. Statesville actually compromised last year on a bigger flag but says that the one currently flying is still too big:
The city had compromised last year by allowing an exemption for a larger flag than what city ordinance permits, but not the size that Camping World was seeking.
Lemonis, who is also known as CNBC‘s “The Profit“, posted this to Facebook over the weekend, encouraging supporters to sign a petition to convince the city to allow the business to fly the flag at its current size:
Lemonis also posted a video to his Twitter page in which veterans and employees of Camping World/Gander RV explain what the flag means to them:
I will not budge… I will not compromise… I’m grateful for who I am and what I have and it’s clear to me the reasons why… #usa I will not take the flag down @cityofsvl or any other city pic.twitter.com/i8bTBBxxr4
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 18, 2019
The CNBC star has a fascinating history:
Lemonis was born in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon in 1973; and, at nine months old, was adopted by a Lebanese and Greek couple living in Miami, FL. As a young child, he was exposed to positive and prosperous business values at his family-owned Anthony Abraham Chevrolet. His entrepreneurial spirit bloomed at age 12, when he started a lawn mowing service in order to generate money to open a candy business. He graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Miami and moved to Milwaukee, WI to attend Marquette University, where he studied, Political Science, Criminology and Economics.
Lemonis held several automotive sales and managerial roles, but it was a conversation with family friend and former Chrysler CEO, Lee Iacocca, who advised him to get into the camping and RV business, which put him on the path to eventual chairmanship at America’s #1 source for RV’s, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair, Camping World and Good Sam.
As to the lawsuit against Lemonis? The city issued a statement to local news outlets that inquired about the issue. The last part of it reads:
“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.”
—Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–