I’ve always despised the old adage, “you can’t beat city hall.”
Of course you can. People fight their hilariously corrupt local governments and win all the time. What fatalistic nonsense.
Thankfully, this isn’t a saying Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis is taking to heart.
After receiving a notification that the 3,200-square-foot American flag waving over Gander Outdoors, his Statesville, North Carolina RV dealership, is larger than what a city ordinance permits, Lemonis prepared to make a stand.
The 40′ by 80′ flag, the city said in its initial complaint, is significantly larger than the 25′ by 40′ flag the business allegedly sought permission to fly.
That’s just too much freedom for one little city to handle, apparently.
Lemonis reported that the business is being fined $50 for each day the star-spangled banner yet waves, exceeding $10,000 since the flag was first erected in October.
“As I told the city [Statesville], it’s not coming down under any circumstance,” Lemonis declared, saying that flying it is part of his “DNA.”
Lemonis also poked holes in the foundation of the city’s complaint, concerns from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over the hazard an oversized flagpole may pose to low-flying aircraft. If the FAA is concerned about flagpoles, then that’s simply not a valid basis for complaining about the dimensions of the flag itself.
Come what may, Lemonis says he will remain steadfast in keeping the flag up at any cost.
“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,” Gander Outdoors posted on Facebook this month. “They are the reason we fly the flag and they are the reason we will NOT take it down!”
“The flag isn’t coming down. It’s the only thing I know for certain,” Lemonis told USA Today last week. “I know I’m going to die. I know I’m going to pay taxes. And I know I’m not taking the flag down.”