- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis said he’s not going to remove the giant U.S. flag his Gander RV flies proudly at his Statesville, North Carolina, branch no way, no how, no matter how much local authorities fine him.

You go, Marcus Lemonis.

This is a lesson of principle for fighting patriots — and just in time for Memorial Day, no less.

Here’s the gist: Lemonis said Gander RV in Statesville is flying the exact same size 3,200-square-foot flag that’s displayed at all his Camping World outlets across the country — in all 180 cities across the country, that is. The banner, size and all, is simply part of his brand, he says.

But Statesville authorities — make that Big Bureaucracy of Statesville authorities — say Lemonis only has a permit for a 1,000-square-foot flag and it must go.



And to that, Lemonis says: no, heck no.

“We have flown this flag for a long time,” he said on Fox News’ “Bulls & Bears.” “As I told the city … it’s not coming down under any circumstances.”

That’s not just idle rhetoric.

The city’s been fining Lemonis $50 per day.

So far, since October, Lemonis has racked up $10,000 in fines.

The court could rule against Lemonis and order him, on threat of contempt and possibly jail, to remove the flag.

But Lemonis said he’s in it for the long haul. He said “we are not messing with the FAA in terms of air traffic rules” and that out of respect for his 14,000 employees, millions of customers and board of directors, the flag — representative of Camping World’s core values — must stay.

Happy Memorial Day. Take a timeout from the barbecue to reflect.

Lemonis is the kind of guy who shows that you don’t have to be a deployed member of the military to still fight and battle for the soul of this nation.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @ckchumley.

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