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Massive US Flag Still Standing After Council Votes To Downsize It

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The city council of Statesville, North Carolina, was faced with the choice Monday night to either punish a local business owner for flying an “over-sized” American flag or alter city ordinance to permit the flag.

The body chose the former, voting 5-3 to leave the city codes unchanged and force the owner of recreational vehicle dealership Gander RV into compliance, according to WBTV.

“Unbelievable,” Gander RV owner and reality television personality Marcus Lemonis told WBTV. “I’m stunned.”

“When they are faced by people holding them accountable they say the right things, then when they are there to vote and do the right thing they do the wrong thing,” he added.

According to WCNC, Gander RV — which sits adjacent Interstate 77 — currently flies a 40-by-80-foot flag.

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Local ordinance, however, requires that flags flown in a highway zone be no larger than 25-by-40 feet in total — a strange thing to legislate considering one’s ability to burn any flag, just about anywhere.

Do you think anyone should ever be punished for flying an American flag?

In May, the local governing body filed a lawsuit against Gander RV, seeking an injunction and $50 for each day the flag was flown — since October of last year.

At present, the result would be a more than $10,000 fine.

But Lemonis indicated Monday with a series of tweets and a video response that he has no intention of caving to the city’s pressure to downsize his patriotic display.

“(T)he flag isn’t coming down.. ever,” Lemonis wrote in a tweet. “(S)ee you in court.”

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Lemonis also took the opportunity to set the record straight for those who failed to “understand the values and the beauty of it all,” believing that he was merely staging a “publicity stunt.”

“There’s a lot people out there that think this is a publicity stunt,” the businessman said. “It’s not a marketing strategy.”

“If you look at our company’s marketing — both on T.V. and in print — we don’t use the flag, primarily because it does not belong to us. It’s not our trademark, it’s not our symbol, it’s not our logo and it’s not our right to use it as a marketing tool,” Lemonis said. “But it does fly on our property, and it is big. And it will continue to be big.”

Lemonis also assured the public that his defiantly patriotic stance will not change.

No matter where Lemnonis’ business takes him, he said a giant American flag will fly regardless of “distractions” like local court battles on the subject.

“I will continue to put up flags and flagpoles in every single business that I possibly can,” he said.

Public support for Lemonis’ decision has been strong, with support from other patriotic Americans pouring in locally, as well as on Twitter, Facebook and — where petition in support of Gander RV’s flag has received more than 300,000 signatures.

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