After weeks of a dispute between the city of Statesville and the I-77 Gander RV store over the size of their American flag.
The flag, which currently measures 40 X 80 feet, is almost double the city’s legally allowed size. A Statesville city ordinance currently limits publically displayed flag sizes to just 25 X 40 feet.
The earlier this month, the city issued a letter to Gander, telling them that they must take down the over-sized flag or face a daily penalty of $50 (retroactive to 10/15/18).
The company sent out a post on their social channels telling people they would not take the flag down and asking for people the sign a petition (which has since received over 275,000 signatures);
Gander’s owner Marcus Lemonis even traveled to Statesville yesterday to speak to city officials. During an interview, Marcus told reporters that under no circumstances is the flag coming down, and he’d even be willing to go to jail over the issues;
Now, after hundreds of thousands of signatures, a flood of hate letters, and widespread national media attention, city leaders have decided to work toward changing the flag size policy.
According to a press release by the city, Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh has asked the Statesville Planning Department to draft a new amendment that would change the regulated size of flags displayed in a highway business zone to allow for the flag that’s currently displayed at Gander RV on I-77.
“In speaking with city council members, I believe this is the direction the majority of council would like to go at this time. Some terrible things have been said about our wonderful town,” said Kutteh, “and it hasn’t come from our citizens. But people from all over the country have jumped on this issue and called us names I can’t repeat. When our community’s efforts to conduct business in an orderly, lawful manner begins to hurt our businesses, then it’s time to put a stop to it.”
What do you think about flag battle?