Camping World CEO says city of Georgetown won't permit large American flag

Published: Apr. 17, 2017 at 10:35 PM EDT
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At each of the 130 Camping World stores nationwide, CEO Marcus Lemonis says a giant American flag can be seen waving in the air.

"We light it, we have a giant ceremony. It really is, you know, to pay homage to our customers and surrounding residents,” Lemonis said.

As the final touches are made to the new Camping World store off exit 125 in Georgetown, Lemonis says he is frustrated.

"We applied for the sign, it was approved. We applied for the flag and it was denied because the city told us it was essentially just another sign,” Lemonis said.

According to the Georgetown sign ordinance, a sign greater than 25 feet tall and located near an interstate exit are requirements for being considered an interstate sign.

So the 110-foot tall sign and the 130-foot tall flagpole would be considered two interstate signs.

According to the Herald Leader, Matt Summers, a planner with the Georgetown-Scott County Planning Commission, confirmed only one interstate sign is allowed on the property.

Permission for an interstate sign must be obtained through a conditional use permit.

Camping World already received a conditional use permit for a high-rise sign of 110 feet, so the request for a 130-foot flagpole was denied, Georgetown Board of Adjustment meeting minutes revealed.

According to the Herald Leader, Summers said flags under 32 feet tall do not need approval from the Board of Adjustment. Because Camping World's proposed flagpole would have been over 32 feet in height, it would have been considered an interstate sign under the sign ordinances.

"It's the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. You can't put a flag up because it's a sign? It doesn't advertise my business. It doesn't have an 'exit now'. It's a flag,” Lemonis said.

Limonis said he will choose to fly the American flag rather than posting a Camping World sign because, he said, the American flag is more important.

"Our store will just operate without a sign. I don't know how that'll work out for us but it's a decision we'll have to make, right?” Lemonis said.