Camping World flag flap finished


By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Fox46 image

Statesville, North Carolina, city officials and Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis have come to terms. Statesville gets the money, Lemonis keeps his flag.

After a closed-door session prior to last Monday’s city council meeting, an agreement was completed that ends a long fight over an oversized U.S. flag that Lemonis had flown over the Gander store in the North Carolina city. Months back, Gander raised a 40′ by 80′ American flag, in violation of Statesville’s ordinances, which most recently limited flags to a maximum of 25′ by 40′. Code enforcers approached Gander about the violation, and the company refused to take the flag down. With fanfare, Lemonis said he’d rather go to jail than to come into compliance.

The majority of city counselors were just as entrenched. Last June they voted down a proposed ordinance that would have allowed larger flags. When they did, the council came under fire. In a now-removed media release, Statesville’s mayor wrote, “People from all over the country have jumped on this issue and called us names I can’t repeat. When our community’s efforts to conduct business in an orderly, lawful manner begins to hurt our businesses, then it’s time to put a stop to it.”

Perhaps the settlement will finally put a stop to it. Lemonis’ company will pay fines for the unlawful flag flying to the tune of $14,350, in addition to $2,000 in court costs. For its part, the city will rewrite its flag ordinance, allowing Gander’s 3,200 square footer, by specifically allowing the area where Gander’s store is located to have the larger flag.

In a Tweet, Lemonis said the city was a great place, and even offered to donate another huge flag to be flown over downtown Statesville. Just how that idea will fly with the city council is yet to be seen.

So, asks editor Chuck Woodbury, was this about patriotism or publicity? Read his thoughts.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Our nations flag is NOT “illegal”. The bias is just never ending.

“wins his illegal flag battle”


Good. I don’t like the man, but enough with flag bashing.

Barz Erlich

There is a huge flag flying at the Cliffs Hotel here in Pismo Beach, CA.
The hotel is right off the 101 and always gives me a sense of pride and patriotism every time I drive by. If they were flying a “Cliffs Resort Flag” or something similar, I would object. I think the people living in Statesville should be the ones who determine if the flag stays or goes and not some subjective politician(s). I am sure that the public would overwhelmingly support the large flag, those who died defending her and all that it represents. You might not be a fan of Lemonis, and I’m not, but I would certainly appreciate seeing Old Glory waving in the blue sky if I lived in Statesville.


As a Canadian looking in on this, I thought there were bigger fish to fry. I do know one thing, you’d have to spend a lot of money running down a flag flying from a business as big as that on the Gander operation. In fact to find any flag flying on a Canadian business is not going to be common. We’re just not as flag waving as our American friends. Bravo to you all, and Bravo to Lemonis for fighting this and winning. Do I shop at Camping world, do I patronize any Democrat or Liberal anything? – not on your life.

Ival Secrest

Interesting in that I was in Statesville last week visiting a relative. I had arranged to have Gander RV diagnose a couple problems with my entertainment system. It was only upon arrival did I know that they were really Camping World. I must say that the Service Writer (C.J.) and the technician (Dave) were very professional and the technician knew what he was doing. I did not notice or see the flag in question.

John Koenig

I’ll have to keep Statesville, NC in mind as a place to AVOID with my RV if it requires legal action to show one’s patriotism. I’m sure I can find other, less onerous places, to visit and spend my travel dollars in.


End of the day, it was all about the money for the city. They took it as a part of the deal. On the other hand, the assumptions of Lemonis’ intent for flying the flag, are just that, assumptions. Perhaps a little research would help tone down the rhetoric.

J Dee

Marcus Lemonis is a Trump hating liberal. Don’t let him fool you, remember his comment during the last Presidential campaign, that Trump supporters are NOT welcome at his stores.

Elaine Ashton

WHO CARES about the size of the flag — aren’t there more important issues to talk about than the size of the flag? Get over it!

Tpm Smithbrother

It is disgusting that a town or any local government can legally limit the size of the National flag that they are located within.

Prospector 1950

The Lemonis’ company will pay fines for the unlawful flag flying to the tune of $14,350, in addition to $2,000 in court costs. For its part, the city will rewrite its flag ordinance, allowing Gander’s 3,200 square footer, by specifically allowing the area where Gander’s store is located to have the larger flag. – See there the key points are that…… (1) Gander will still have to pay the $14,350.00 fine, plus the $2,000.00 Court Costs anyway, – and – (2) The only place a flag above what the city allows in size will be only upon the very small space upon Ganders properly, as nobody else will ever be able to display or fly such a large size flag themselves without going through the same hassles as Gander has had to go through. – Yes, Folks, Once again, it’s all about the huge amount of money that the city can force out of the citizen, and not about the flag, and the patriotism of the flag and/or its owner. The city should have to eat those fines, and the re-zoning for the larger flags should be city wide and not just upon that one small spot. Very few if any people would ever fly such a huge flag anyway, but its more just the idea that they could do so by law if they so chose to do so, and wanted to do it. So, in essence overall, the city still won.


How dare you use the American Flag as your soap box

Dale e Rose

I do believe that Lemonis is very patriotic to our country. His family came to the USA when he was a child and they all worked very hard to become citizens. They had very little money, and he started working when he was young, and is a self made millionaire.

Greg Gimlick

This had nothing to do with patriotism, I doubt Lemonis even knew about it until the lawsuit. This was a PR move for him and nothing more. I like the big flag, but let’s not mistake his motive.


I originally thought that this story was just a publicity stunt, and it still may be, but I recently spent a month in Cedar Rapids, IA and found another branch to Lemonis and his huge flags. There is a Gander Outdoors store there that is one of the stores that is closing down. It has one of those huge flags and it was torn and tattered. I am a veteran, and knowing about this story in NC, so I called the local VFW to see what needed to be done and if they could handle it since I was there for a school. The VFW said they could take care of the disposal, but they couldn’t do anything with the store bringing it to them. I went into the store and spoke with someone about getting the flag taken down, but since they were busy doing all their going out of business stuff I didn’t expect it to come down until they were closed. To my surprise within a few days that huge flag had been removed and replaced with another huge flag. The reason this surprised me was they would have had to hire someone with a huge cherry picker to go up and switch out the flags, and they did it even though they were going out of business.


I wonder if Lemon Lemonis thinks he’s improved his image by the wrapping oneself in the flag tactic. Maybe. But I wager it’s fewer than he thinks. One of his employees complained to me that he could pay his employees a little more rather than the $10,000 dollars a day fine he was incurring at the time. Just saying ,,,,,.


The fact that marcus lemonis won the flag issue, does NOT mean I am going to buy anything from Camping World.

Everyone should simply stay away from Camping World and DON’T enrich marcus lemonis’ wallet with one more penny!

Bob Godfrey

While I am as patriotic as anyone (VietNam combat veteran) I also know that marketing folks use the American flag in their places of business because studies have shown that it will increase sales. I seriously doubt that Marcus Lemonis flies such a huge flag out of patriotism. Have you ever noticed that the biggest flags in almost any town are flown over car dealerships?

Ed & Robin D.

I have left two different comments on this subject and both of them were removed (CENSORED). I am a paid subscriber to this newsletter but will not renew if this is the way you do things. I saw nothing wrong with my comments. I deserve an explanation.


But it does give you pride to see how magnificent a flag of this size being flown to honor those who gave the ultimate price and to say “Thank you Veterans”.