Gander RV One Step Closer To Getting Flag Ordinance Changed In Statesville
The Statesville Planning Board approved a recommendation to increase the flag size allowed at businesses after Gander RV refused to take down a 40 by 80 foot American flag.
The recommendation was approved in an unanimous vote. This recommendation, if officially passed by City Council, would increase the flag size from 25 by 40 feet to 40 by 80 feet.
The City Council has to vote on the recommendation before it can be enacted. That vote is expected on June 17th. Then, a public hearing must be conducted before the ordinance is officially changed.
On May 29, Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh asked the Planning Department to draft a code amendment that will allow the 40 by 80 foot flag at Gander RV to continue flying.
Read below for more details on the story.
Original Story (Posted May 30, 2019):
STATESVILLE, N.C. — Reality star and businessman, Marcus Lemonis, whose company owns Gander RV, was in Statesville Thursday. He gave his bottom line about a large flag standing at Gander RV.
“The flag is not coming down, under any circumstance,” says Lemonis.
The city filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order an injunction to force Gander RV to take down this 40 by 80 foot American flag.
It’s almost double the size that is allowed under city code. After major backlash, Mayor Costi Kutteh asked the Statesville Planning Department to add an amendment to the ordinance. It would regulate the size of flags displayed in a highway business zone.
Lemonis says they’re missing the point, “This is about the city and a flag that does not belong to us, it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to all of us. So no one person should have the right to say well that business can do it but that business cannot.”
City council member, C.O. Johnson, says most city council members are on board with the amendment and it will likely pass. He was against having a flag size ordinance in the first place.
“I just don’t think there’s no way anyone should be able to regulate the American flag if you’re not for the American flag I want you just move out of America,” says Johnson.
A city spokesperson says the Statesville City manager has made repeated efforts to speak with Lemoins, but haven’t gotten in touch with him. Lemois says he hasn’t heard a word from anyone with the city.
“It’s not hard to reach me at all. So I have no messages from the mayor, no messages from the city Council and no messages from the city manager,” says Lemonis.
The city is making Gander RV and Camping world pay a $50 a day fine for the flag. Fines have reached almost $11,000 since October. Lemonis says he’ll pay it.
The city says it should be resolved by July 15th, because first it has to be presented to the Statesville Planning Board before council can consider the request.
WCCB asked Lemonis if his attorney has filed a response to the lawsuit. He says they’re waiting to get more clarity on where it stands.
You can view previous coverage of this story by clicking HERE.