In Statesville, N.C., the city has sued Camping World because its American flag has been deemed too big. The city surpassed an ordinance designed to prevent shows of huge Confederate flags, but the prohibition includes any large banner. That’s angered the organization’s CEO and others who say it is un-American and unpatriotic, particularly earlier than Memorial Day. Sarafina Wright from member station WFAE 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 80 feet. It’s on the assets of Gander RV, owned with Camping World’s aid. The flag is a success for customers like Todd Glenn.
WRIGHT: At dozens of places across the country, Camping World has thought for its huge flags hoisted excessively above nearby interstates. But they are no longer welcome in Statesville. The town sued Camping World, searching for an exception of $50 an afternoon going again to closing in 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 the Navy, veterans, and employees.
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: You must continually consider our veterans and 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 the host of CNBC’s “The Profit.” He’s commenced an internet petition on change.org that has accrued 193,000 signatures and counting. Todd Glenn, a retired firefighter, doesn’t understand why a town might ever limit the scale of an American flag.
GLENN: The human beings that run Stateville want to grow up. Get as big as the flag is, and perhaps it will be higher in the United States. This flag speaks wonders for the community here.
WRIGHT: In 2015, Statesville surpassed its authentic flag regulations and updates them now and then. The most recent came a year in the past. The most length it now permits is 25-through-forty toes. But Camping World’s flag is much 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 manipulating.
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. However, this character chose no longer to threaten him to threaten his spouse and stated he knew where 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.