In 5-3 vote, Statesville Council votes-down change to allow Gander RV flag

Pictured above: The Gander RV flag in Statesville – Picture courtesy of WSIC news partner FOX 46 Charlotte

STATESVILLE, NC (WSIC) – In a split vote, Statesville City Council members voted down an amendment Monday that would have allowed the Gander RV flag to keep flying.

C.O. Johnson, John Staford and Steve Johnson voted in favor of increasing the allowed flag size to 40’x80′. William Morgan, Roy West, Doris Allison, Keith Williams and Michael Johnson voted against the change meaning the current flag at Gander RV is still out of compliance. There were no speakers at a public hearing before the vote.

“This was never about patriotism. It was never about the flag,” says Councilman William Morgan who voted against the proposal noting the rules had been changed before and then ignored.

“It was simply about drawing, if you will, a line in the sand and determining which ordinances you’re going to enforce and which ordinances you (are not). We can’t ask law abiding citizens and those that obey the rules to just turn their heads and ignore someone who is not playing by the rules”

Mayor Costi Kutteh asked the city’s planning department to draft the amendment following harsh local and national criticism over the current rule.

Gander RV CEO Marcus Lemonis has been driving the flag debate and responded to Monday’s decision on social media.

“The flag is not coming down under any circumstance,” says Lemonis who added he is prepared for any other consequences that should arise if he is ordered by a court to take the flag down.

According to the City, Monday’s vote does not impact the injunction filed against Gander RV which asks the court to order Gander RV to comply with the ordinance and pay a $50 per day fine.