STATESVILLE, N.C. — For part of Memorial Day, American flags have been flying at half-staff to honor and remember those who died serving our country.
It's a reason officials with Gander RV in Statesville said their massive flag off Interstate 77 won't be coming down.
Channel 9 spoke with a family from Ohio who drove out of their way to take photos with the flag Monday. Greg Reasoner said he had heard about the controversy and felt it was his patriotic duty to stop by.
"We feel very lucky to be here today with the flag," said Reasoner. "This might actually get framed on a wall somewhere in my house as a particular moment, Memorial Day weekend."
The city of Statesville is currently in a legal battle with Gander RV over the size of the flag. City offcials said the flag's size of 40 by 80 feet is nearly double the city's limit.
As long as the flag is up, the company is being fined $50 a day, dating back to Oct. 15, 2018. To date, it owes $11,200.
"If I can do anything to help them, I’ll pay the $50,” said John Bert, who supports Gander RV. “I'll do it."
An online petition in support of the flag currently has more than 250,000 signatures. This week, the company rolled out a commercial to highlight the symbolism of the flag and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Last week, the CEO of Gander RV, Marcus Lemonis, said the flag is personal to his family, a key trademark of their businesses. He said more than 200 flags fly at his stores across the United States.
He said he's even shut down a store because of the opposition.
"I don’t know if it’s much as important that it be this size, it’s important that he has the right and the freedom -- especially here on Memorial Day -- that he can fly his flag as big as he wants," said Reasoner.
City officials said Gander RV has to respond in 30 days, which is next week.
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