Size issue: Massive US flag causes controversy in Statesville

How big should businesses be able to fly the American flag? That’s the big debate in Statesville where city council says a business is breaking the law because their flag is too big but the company refuses to take it down. 

“I think it’s very patriotic and I think it’s inspiring for the day in which we’re living with so much opposition and people being polar opposites. I think it’s more unifying than anything else,” said Bonnie Hamilton who said seeing the huge flag nearly brought a tear to her eye. 

Camping World raised a massive 40 by 80 foot American flag that Statesville city council says is illegal. Council voted to increase the allowable flag size to 25 by 40 feet just to accommodate Camping World. City council voted to amend the law again after Camping World raised their giant flag but the measure failed to pass. Council members who opposed the measure say they’ve already done enough.

“Originally they made a good faith effort to accommodate the larger flag with the understanding that was gonna be the size of the flag,” said Mayor Protem Steve Johnson. 

Camping World General Manager Christina Whitaker said despite the flag being out of compliance they will not take it down.“Why should we put a cap on the size the flag should be or shouldn’t be. At the end of the day size shouldn’t matter it’s the meaning behind why the flag is up. Land of the free home of the brave,” said Whitaker.

The company and the City of Statesville are now facing off. “Right now as it stands the flag will stay up we have no intent on taking it down,” said Whitaker. 

Johnson said the penalty for not complying is a 50 dollar fine, per day. “They’re out of compliance with the ordinance and the flag must come down.”

Camping World C.E.O. Marcus Lemonis took to Twitter telling his followers to call or email Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh, who helped raise the flag.

Johnson says both sides have their heels dug in deep and he anticipates there will be litigation over the issue.