Statesville planning board approves flag size change for Gander RV

STATESVILLE, N.C. - The City of Statesville's Planning Board approved a recommendation to allow Gander RV to legally fly its American Flag.

The Statesville Record & Landmark reports that during a special meeting Monday, the planning board voted 5-0 in favor of a code change to increase the flag size limit.

The existing ordinance limits flag size to 25 feet by 40 feet.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Gander RV's parent company, refused to remove the 40 feet by 80 feet flag flying above the recreational vehicle store despite Statesville announcing in May that it would fine the company for each day it flew the flag in violation of city code.

Since October, the CEO has been fined $50 a day costing more than $11,000.

City staff suggested the ordinance be amended to limit flag size to 40 feet by 80 feet. However, city officials said flags of that size are only allowed in areas zoned for highway business or general business. The property must also have at least 100 feet along an interstate.

The board also stipulated that the business needs to follow federal guidelines for the care and management of the flag. It also added engineering requirements for the flag pole.

In a fling in Iredell County last week, Lemonis argued that the flag size ban is "unconstitutional."

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"The U.S. and North Carolina constitutions and state law prohibit authorities “from placing arbitrary or unreasonable restrictions on city’s abilities to fly the flag,” the filing reads.

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In a visit to Gander RV in May, Lemonis told employees he was "willing to go to jail" over the issue.