Retailer Defies Bureaucrats on Flag, Flies it Big-Time

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Statesville, North Carolina, city council members are not so thrilled to see Old Glory flying high: they want the 3,200-square-foot banner replaced with one less than a third its size because it is technically in violation of a sign ordinance that is such a priority in their opinion. (Facebook photo)

An RV retailer remains defiant against several municipalities that seek to replace the business’s practice of raising mammoth U.S. flags over their showroom properties.

The business released a statement and posted a petition signaling they will not lower their flags even after Statesville, North Carolina, waged a retroactive $50 daily fine for the 3,200-square-foot American flag at Gander RV there.

Conservative commentator Todd Starnes joined the 188,000-strong amen chorus signing on and thus congratulating Gander/Camping World/Gander Outdoors for their stand.

“When it comes to patriotism, size matters,” Starnes said. “And that’s a mighty big problem for the city council. They filed a lawsuit against Camping World, the company’s owners, alleging the sign violates the city’s sign ordinance.”

The sign ordinance Starnes referred to technically applies to ensigns, logos, banners and other recognized symbols made of fabric, and no exception for Old Glory is noted.

Handling the mammoth banner at a Camping World retail lot is nearly a community-wide event every time, and the work put into it defies criticism of the business’s motives as if grand-standing or glory mongering for attention. (Statesville Record and Landmark photo)

The council could easily grant a temporary variance from city ordinances for the individual case and make that permanent or even note an exception in the rules after a public hearing process.

“Camping World and Gander Outdoors owe about $11,000 in fines,” so far, Starnes said. “Imagine that, folks, Americans being punished for flying the Red, White & Blue.”

“Many cities like Statesville have requested that Camping World and Gander Outdoors take down their American Flags. We won’t do it!” the company statement said.

“This is about more than just the flag,” they added. “This is about our veterans, military, and the men and women that have sacrificed for this great country. They are the reason we fly the flag and they are the reason we will not take it down!”

You can’t put a price or a size on patriotism

Todd Starnes

Comments on Facebook and at the Change.org petition site ran up the sense of defiance even more. They declared admiration for the flag, enjoyment at seeing flying high, and basically not caring if it “could be seen from space.”

“Love the American flag and the men and women who have served and fought to protect it. Love the flag at Camping World in Statesville,” Kathy Johnson noted.

“This flag is beautiful and causes no obstructions to traffic. It is a beautiful sight. I know of people who have even traveled to Statesville just to see it proudly wave. Keep the flag!”

Dennis Norway added, “Thank you Camping World! I appreciate you taking a stand. That flag is beautiful, and I’m proud to see it every time I drive by. It’s not a distraction! If anything, it’s a reality check.”

“You can’t put a price or a size on patriotism,” Starnes concluded.

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