[Rushtalk] Camping World CEO Ready To Go to Prison over Giant American Flag

Carl Spitzer {C Juno} cwsiv at juno.com
Fri Aug 9 14:32:48 MDT 2019

Camping World CEO Ready To Go to Prison over Giant American Flag

Benjamin Arie By Benjamin Arie 
Published July 4, 2019 a 

Being threatened with jail time for proudly flying your nation’s flag
seems like something that would never happen in America, but that’s
exactly what a businessman in this country is now facing.

Marcus Lemonis is the CEO of Camping World and its affiliate company
Gander RV. The energetic 45-year-old entrepreneur sure doesn’t look like
a criminal, but he says he’s being treated like one after refusing to
take down a large American flag at one of his North Carolina locations.

As we covered previously, Lemonis is taking a patriotic stand and facing
steep fines for leaving the giant flag up — but now he also says that
even jail time won’t cause him to change his mind.

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“Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis dismissed the $50-per-day fine,
criticism from the Statesville government and prospect of future
imprisonment in an interview Monday with Martha MacCallum on ‘The
Story,'” Fox News reported on Monday.

Watch the latest video at foxnews.com

The issue is a massive American flag which flies atop the RV dealership
in Statesville, North Carolina, along Interstate 77. The city council
says that the 40-by-80 foot flag violates a city ordinance and has
imposed a fine in excess of $10,000 for the “violation.”

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They’ve even filed a lawsuit, but Lemonis isn’t budging.

“The ordinance doesn’t matter to me,” the CEO told Fox News. He
acknowledges that the huge flag is technically against a local
ordinance, but said that the city is being unreasonable.

Should Statesville officials back down and let the flag fly?

Yes No 

“If you look at the North Carolina statute, it says as long as it’s not
impairing someone’s health and well-being it’s not a big deal,” Lemonis
explained. “They made the claim it could cause an accident on the
freeway because it was too distracting — it was too beautiful.”

Why doesn’t the businessman simply give in and remove the flag, or
replace it with a smaller one? The answer is that Lemonis is a legal
immigrant to the United States, and sees the stars and stripes as an
important symbol of American greatness.

“I am a legal immigrant to this country and … I am grateful for it,” he

He also noted that keeping the flag up is the least he can do for men
and women in uniform, to whom the banner has important meaning.

“I think all of the men and women and the police officers that have
protected me and gave me the chance to come here,” Lemonis said. “It’s
my small way of paying it back.” 

“When veterans show up at the stores for the flag raisings, and when
they come on Saturdays and do their veteran rides, and they weep at the
bottom of the flagpole, that’s the conviction that I need to say it’s
just not going to come down,” he explained. “I would rather go to jail.”

He sure doesn’t seem to be joking. When pressed by the Fox News
journalist, the Camping World CEO pointed out that being taken away in
handcuffs over the size of the American flag is a very real possibility.

“The city filed a lawsuit two months ago. They asked for a motion to ask
the court to have me take it down,” he said. “If we don’t take it down I
will be in violation of the court order. Their reaction from the city is
that I will go to jail.”

You might call it civil disobedience. While the local ordinance does
appear clear, threatening to jail a patriotic immigrant who is providing
countless jobs seems like a bad move. It becomes downright ridiculous
when you remember that it’s all over the dimensions of an American flag.

And hundreds of thousands of citizens apparently agree. A Change.org
petition asking the City of Statesville to drop the issue has so far
been signed by over 300,000 people, yet the standoff continues.

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Here’s some free advice to the city council: Swallow your pride and let
the man fly the giant flag. Continuing to press the issue to the point
of jail time will only serve to make the city look like a villain, all
over a minor ordinance.

There are far too many real problems in our country to be this upset
over enthusiastic patriotism. Our country could use more hardworking,
enterprising people like Lemonis — and if there was ever a perfect
symbol of the American dream that the immigrant entrepreneur is living,
it would be Old Glory.

Benjamin Arie

Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally
covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a
reporter in Michigan, before focusing on national politics. Ben
frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in


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