Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis responded to the American flag controversy at his store in Statesville, North Carolina, telling FOX Business he is in the lawsuit battle for the long haul.
“We have flown this flag for a long time,” he said during an interview on "Bulls & Bears” Thursday. “As I told the city…it’s not coming down under any circumstance.”
The city of Statesville filed a lawsuit against Gander RV and its parent company, Camping World, for violating a city ordinance by flying a 3,200-square-foot American flag. In a statement, the city said the company had previously applied for and received a permit for a compliant 1,000-square-foot flag.
Lemonis said the RV retailer flies the same size flag and pole in over 180 cities across the country, something that’s been part of the company's DNA. He has been fined $50 a day, totaling more than $10,000 retroactive to October.
“I don’t normally advocate for violating ordinances and things of that nature, but we have 14,000 employees and several millions customers and I have a fiduciary responsibility to follow their edict as well.”
Lemonis said the flag is in compliance with federal aviation rules.
“We know that before the flag pole goes up and before the flag goes up we want to ensure that people are safe,” he said. “We are not messing with the FAA in terms of air traffic rules.”
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Camping World is a publicly traded company and according to Lemonis, he is not employed by the company nor does he receive a paycheck. He is willing to pay the legal fines if asked by the board of directors and the company.
“In this particular case, I think the board of directors and the company would like to pay the fine themselves because they believe that this is a stance of our company, not just a market stance.”
Lemonis said he owns 36 million shares of Camping World.
If the court grants the injunction, Lemonis said, he would be instructed to take the flag down. Failure to do so could land him in contempt of court.
“I would never want to break the law or be in contempt of any court of any kind, but in this particular situation, I understand that if I don’t comply with that order that I could and would be arrested and out in jail until the flag came down,” he said. Lemonis is also the celebrity entrepreneur and host of CNBC's "The Profit."