Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is in a battle against city leaders over the huge American flag that flies high above his Gander RV business in Statesville, North Carolina, along Interstate 77.
Lemonis, who’s best known for his CNBC television show, “The Profit,” has refused to remove the 40-by-80 foot flag that the city said is too large and violates a city ordinance.
“There is no way that flag is coming down,” Lemonis tweeted Saturday.
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 18, 2019
The city recently filed a lawsuit seeking to force the company to take down the flag. It has also imposed a $50-a-day fine.
The city ordinance in question states that a flag within 100 feet of a highway can’t be larger than 25-by-40 feet. A measure to amend the ordinance failed in October, WSOC-TV reported.
The fine, which is retroactive to Oct. 15, would be nearly $11,000 if paid today.
But the self-made millionaire isn’t concerned about the lawsuit or fines his company now faces.
“I don’t care if it goes to $500 a day. It’s not coming down,” Lemonis told WSOC.
Why won’t Lemonis take down the flag?
The issue is personal to the Lebanese-born American entrepreneur.
“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 news outlet. “My family is largely immigrants of the country.”
Does the company have the community’s support?
Over the weekend, Lemonis launched a petition on change.org that has garnered more than 87,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
“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 company hopes that the petition will give city leaders some insight into the public’s view on the issue.
“I think it would be a good way for elected leaders to see how people actually feel,” Lemonis told WJZY-TV.
The matter wasn’t discussed during Monday’s city council meeting, WJZY reported.
“The property that’s there belongs to us, we pay taxes and the size of the flag isn’t hurting anybody,” Lemonis said.
Author: Jana J. Pruet