This flag at Gander RV is at the center of a dispuite between the business and the City of Statesville's ordinances. 

The Gander RV flag remains outside of the allowance by city ordinance. On Monday night, the Statesville City Council opted not to pass a motion to change the ordinance limiting the size of the flag.

The motion to allow a larger flag to continue to fly by changing the ordinance relating to it failed 3-5 in Monday night’s Council meeting. John Staford, C. O. “Jap” Johnson and Steve Johnson voted for the defeated change in the ordinance. William Morgan, Roy West Jr., Doris Allison, Michael Johnson and Keith Williams voted against it. 

The issue revolves around Gander RV, formerly Camping World, which on Morland Drive flies a 40-by-80 foot flag off Interstate 77. The city’s current ordinance limits flags to 25 by 40 feet.

The Statesville Planning Board had a special midday meeting last Monday and approved a recommendation to Statesville City Council to increase the flag size limit. City staff suggested the ordinance be amended to limit flag size to 40-by-80 feet at that meeting. These large flags are only allowed in areas zoned for Highway Business or General Business. The property must have at least 100 feet along an interstate.

Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis brought Statesville’s and 11 other cities’ ordinances keeping the company from flying giant flags to the nation’s attention by tweeting to the 1.3 million followers he had at the time in 2017. He put up a flag outside the ordinance’s allowances and the city filed a complaint against Camping World for refusing to follow an ordinance in May. Gander Outdoors, also owned by Lemonis, started a petition on change.org supporting Gander RV’s flag. It has more than 300,000 signatures.

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(3) comments

Paul Isenhour

Doesn't matter the size. Lemonis is getting a lot of free advertisement mileage out of this and whatever the limits set he would still fly a bigger one.


I believe I am as patriotic an American as anyone else. I have a flag flying in my front yard right now, even at night, illuminated by a solar spot light. But my flag is a mere 3 ft x 5 ft, and should I wish to fly a larger one, I would still keep to the parameters set by law. That is the difference between me and many other citizens and Mr. Lemonis: we don't believe we are above the law. And he STILL hasn't paid the fines he owes the City of Statesville.


While I love my Country and consider myself a Patriot, I am supportive of Monday's decision by our City Council. What intrigues me most about the supposed flag controversy is that one would think that flag "size" had a direct correlation to one's patriotism. After watching numerous reports on the recent D Day remembrances, as well as having watched several documentaries on that fateful day when one might argue that sacrificial love for Country was displayed most nobly, it occurred to me that every American bombarding, and going ashore on that beachhead, or parachuting in behind the enemy lines, all had one thing in common! They all wore that approximately 1 1/2 x 3 inch emblem of freedom....the American Flag, on their uniform sleeve. I can't help but believe that most of us would agree that what those men and women of our Armed Forces "did" that day was what constituted their Patriotism rather than the flag the displayed on their sleeves. The greatness of America doesn't rest in its flag but in the sacrifices of so many from our founding to this day and in the values that motivated such sacrifice. The size of a flag flown doesn't add to or diminish the greatness of America simply because our greatness lies elsewhere. Those sacrifices were and are made upon the altar of Freedom! And that Freedom....a right given by God....is enshrined, and in America preserved, by our having been constituted as a nation of Laws. We The People can submit willingly to be governed by men primarily because we trust those governing to be themselves governed by that same Law. The irony of the recent Statesville Flag controversy is that the decision to fly a 40x80 ft. flag knowingly in violation of a duly enacted ordinance, was itself an affront to the very thing that Flag represents....namely Freedom grounded in Lawful governance. Even if the folks at Gander or anywhere else felt that the ordinance was unfair or unwarranted, there were lawful avenues of challenging the ordinance that might have reflected true Patriotism that might have been exercised prior to the willful disregard of the ordinance. As a personal matter, since I know that the "size" of a flag isn't indicative of the depths of one's love of country, I think the present ordinance is a very generous accommodation and again, that our City Council was quite reasonable in electing not to bend to what I fear is an uninformed public opinion in regards to what exactly it is that makes America Great!

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