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‘The flag isn’t coming down. It’s the only thing I know for certain. 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.’



That’s a defiant Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World












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who is fighting a North Carolina town over a 3,200-square-foot Stars and Stripes even if, he says, he risks jail for contempt.

Harkening the old standard “bigger is better” for the American standard flying above his RV lots, Lemonis is not complying with a Statesville, N.C., ordinance calling for a smaller flag, even after a lawsuit and a fine growing in excess of $10,000.



USA Today/Camping World


Statesville, N.C., has filed a lawsuit against a Camping World-owned Gander RV location for allegedly violating a city ordinance by flying an American flag that is significantly larger than what the municipal code permits.

The monetary penalty may be pocket change for such well-timed publicity close to Memorial Day for the celebrity CEO who is also behind the CNBC show “The Profit.” If a judge grants the city an injunction, Lemonis says his refusal to remove the flag that’s been flying for six months could land him in contempt of court. He told USA Today he would be willing to take that personal consequence.

The company has received support from more than 150,000 people who have signed a petition “Let Camping World & Gander Outdoors Fly The American Flag!” And some Twitter pledges offer to help pay the fine.

In 2014, Camping World announced plans to fly flags it described as “gigantic” and “massive” at multiple locations, including its Gander RV-branded dealerships. The flags would be either 1,800 square feet or 3,200 square feet “depending on each city’s zoning regulations,” a release said then.

Lemonis told USA Today that a flag of the same size as the 3,200-square-foot version in Statesville is flying in more than 180 cities across the country. According to USA Today, Statesville, which had reached out to the company directly before involving the courts, says Gander RV had previously obtained a permit for a 1,000-square-foot flag, which complied with its ordinance, then chose to fly the larger flag.

The city, on Facebook, said it stands by “our flag and what it represents” but stressed that it had to protect all citizens and businesses by upholding the rules.

Shares of Camping World are down nearly 4% in 2019 to date and off some 45% over the past year.