After four years of fighting and over $10,000 in fines assessed, the city of Statesville has finally decided to relent in their battle with the CEO of Gander RV over his refusal to remove a flag from his Statesville location that the city declared was too big.
WBTV News reports:
Statesville’s Mayor has asked the Statesville Planning Department to draft a text amendment that would allow a large flag displayed at Gander RV on I-77 to continue flying.
Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh has asked the department to draft a text amendment to the city’s ordinance that regulates the size of flags displayed in a highway business zone.
If passed, this amendment will permit the flag currently displayed at Gander RV on I-77 to continue flying.
Kutteh said the text amendment must first be presented to the Statesville Planning Board before Council can consider the request. Because a change to an ordinance requires two votes, officials say the matter should be resolved at the July 15 Council meeting.
@cityofsvl Mayor & majority of Council request change to flag ordinance – If passed, this amendment will permit the flag currently displayed at @GanderRV on I-77 to continue flying. . READ MORE https://t.co/DX5Maqp7Nn@marcuslemonis pic.twitter.com/9enhUIu7Ju
— City of Statesville (@cityofsvl) May 29, 2019
Gander RV CEO Marcus Lemonis, who is also known as CNBC‘s “The Profit“, responded to the mayor’s announcement on Twitter:
. @cityofsvl your missing the point. The state code is clear as to no restriction of size unless it impairs the health, safety or wellness of the people. This isn’t about @CampingWorld or @GanderRV . Amend the code to remove the size restrictions for all businesses not just mine. https://t.co/xCdioHBJCO
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 29, 2019
The relevant part of North Carolina’s flag code reads as follows:
144-7. Display of official governmental flags; public restrictions.
(a) A county, city, consolidated city-county, or unified government shall not prohibit an official governmental flag from being flown or displayed if the official governmental flag is flown or displayed:
(1) In accordance with the patriotic customs set forth in 4 U.S.C. §§ 5-10, as amended; and
(2) Upon private or public property with the consent of either the owner of the property or of any person having lawful control of the property.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, and welfare, reasonable restrictions on flag size, number of flags, location, and height of flagpoles are not prohibited, provided that such restrictions shall not discriminate against any official governmental flag in any manner.
Lemonis also announced earlier this week that he would be in the city this afternoon to “answer questions from all sides”:
People have questions and are demanding answers… I’ll be in Statesville late Thursday afternoon to discuss the American Flag. If you or someone you know has a feeling about this you are welcome to come regardless of your position. https://t.co/BS7m37S639 pic.twitter.com/DSRkpI8PzV
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 28, 2019
To give you an idea of how big the flag is, watch this short video he posted over the weekend:
Nothing more to say… pic.twitter.com/SJMb8FBaDR
— Marcus Lemonis (@marcuslemonis) May 25, 2019
While Lemonis’s position on flying the flag is a popular one with conservatives, some stances he’s taken have had the opposite effect. In August 2017 after the Charlottesville riots, Lemonis told Trump supporters who agreed with the President’s remarks about Charlottesville to please not shop at his business:
“There’s no doubt that there is probably not many consumers in this country today that are in favor of what has been said in the last couple days and if they are, quite frankly, don’t shop at my business,” said Lemonis, who is CEO of Camping World and host of CNBC’s “The Profit. ”
In a chaotic Tuesday news conference, Trump appeared to equate torch-bearing white nationalists with the protesters who demonstrated against them.