Standing in the parking lot of Gander RV late Thursday (May 30) afternoon, Marcus Lemonis declared to a group of workers and a gaggle of news media that he was not interested in Statesville, N.C.’s offer to change a local ordinance regulating banner sizes to allow the giant flag to continue flying.
What he wants, he said, is for them to eliminate all size restrictions on the American flag.
“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”.
The Associated Press reported that in announcing his visit to the site, Lemonis had said Wednesday that he wanted to show his support for workers “frustrated by the distraction” of the flag controversy.
Officials from the city about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Charlotte sued the company earlier this month over the flag, which measures 40 feet by 80 feet (12 meters by 24 meters) and hangs on a 130-foot-high (40-meter-high) flagpole next to I-77. The code limits flags to 25 feet by 40 feet (7.6 meters by 12 meters).
But Lemonis declared on Wednesday that he would go to jail before he’d take the banner down. Not long after that, Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh issued a statement saying he had asked the city’s planning department to change the dimensions allowed for flags displayed in a highway business zone.
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