In Statesville, N.C., the city has sued Camping World due to the fact its American flag turned into deemed too big. The city surpassed an ordinance designed in part to prevent shows of huge Confederate flags, but the prohibition consists of any large flag. That’s angered the organisation’s CEO and others who say it is un-American and unpatriotic, in particular just earlier than Memorial Day. From member station WFAE, Sarafina Wright has the tale.
SARAFINA WRIGHT, BYLINE: Just off Interstate 77 in Statesville, north of Charlotte, a massive American flag waves inside the air. It’s huge – forty-by using-80 feet. It’s on the assets of Gander RV, that is owned with the aid of Camping World. The flag is a success for customers like Todd Glenn.
TODD GLENN: Does my heart super to look that flag flying.
WRIGHT: At dozens of places across the country, Camping World is thought for its huge flags hoisted excessive above nearby interstates. But they are no longer welcome in Statesville. The town sued Camping World, searching for a exceptional of $50 an afternoon going again to closing October. The big flag violates a regulation that restricts the sizes of all flags. Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis has taken the combat public, posting a video on Twitter that includes participants of the navy, veterans and his employees.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: You have to continually consider our veterans and our flag.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: It’s pink, white and blue. It’s 50 stars, thirteen stripes. It’s an awful lot more than that.
WRIGHT: Lemonis is likewise host of CNBC is “The Profit.” He’s commenced an internet petition on change.Org that has accrued 193,000 signatures and counting. For Todd Glenn, a retired firefighter, he just doesn’t understand why a town might ever limit the scale of an American flag.
GLENN: The human beings that run Statesville want to grow up. Get as big because the flag is and perhaps it is going to be a higher united states. This flag speaks wonders for the community here.
WRIGHT: In 2015, Statesville surpassed its authentic flag regulations and updates them every now and then. The most recent came a yr in the past. The most length it now permits is 25-through-forty toes. But Camping World’s flag is lots larger than that. The debate has roiled the community and drawn country wide information attention. Statesville councilmember Steve Johnson says there ought to be no length regulations and the pro-flag rhetoric is out of manipulate.
STEVE JOHNSON: I acquired a cellphone call from a fellow city councilman final night who received a threatening e-mail and a harassing telephone name. And this character chose no longer simply to threaten him, however to threaten his spouse and stated he knew wherein he lived. That should be condemned within the most powerful terms.
WRIGHT: The Statesville metropolis lawyer declined to comment, as did Camping World officers. The business enterprise’s CEO says he might not take the flag down. So far, Camping World’s first-rate is drawing near $12,000 and growing each day. For NPR News, I’m Sarafina Wright in Charlotte.