By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) The CEO of Camping World says he’ll gladly go to jail over his refusal to take down an American flag flying proudly over one of his company’s North Carolina locations.
Marcus Lemonis probably thought he’d never have to risk his freedom for being patriotic, but the 45-year-old business leader and entrepreneur, whose company also owns Gander RV, says he’s being treated like a criminal for refusing to remove a large American flag.
“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 â€˜The Story,’â€Â Fox NewsÂ reported on Monday.
At issue is a massive American flag flying above an RV dealership in Statesville, N.C., situated along Interstate 77.
The city council has deemed the 40 foot-by-80-foot flag in violation of a city ordinance and has fined the dealership more than $10,000 so far for the violation.
In addition, the council has filed legal action against Lemonis, but he’s not budging so far.
“The ordinance doesnâ€™t matter to me,â€ the CEO told Fox News. And while he acknowledged that the large flag is technically a violation of the law, he said that the city is being unreasonable.
â€œIf you look at the North Carolina statute, it says as long as itâ€™s not impairing someoneâ€™s health and well-being itâ€™s not a big deal,â€ Lemonis explained.
â€œThey made the claim it could cause an accident on the freeway because it was too distracting â€” it was too beautiful,” he said.
So, why not just take the flag down and be done with the controversy?
Because, Lemonis said, as a legal immigrant to the U.S. he sees our flag as an iconic symbol of freedom and liberty.
â€œI am a legal immigrant to this country and â€¦ I am grateful for it,â€ he said.
What’s more, he said keeping the flag flying is the least he can do to support American men and women in uniform defending our country daily — as well as our local heroes manning the firehouses, ambulance stations, and the thin blue line.
â€œI think all of the men and womenÂ and the police officersÂ that have protected me and gave me the chance to come here,â€ Lemonis said. â€œItâ€™s my small way of paying it back.â€
â€œWhen 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, thatâ€™s the conviction that I need to say itâ€™s just not going to come down,â€ he explained.Â â€œI would rather go to jail.â€
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