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

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.
“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.

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.”
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. 
“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 said.
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 petition asking the City of Statesville to drop the issue has so far been signed by over 300,000 people, yet the standoff continues.
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.
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