Variable that is set globally has its value reset every loop

I have a stepper motor code that I am working on. I am not new to coding but I have hit a weird wall on getting my code to work.

A little backround on the application of the code:
I have a 10k pot that i have linked to a stepper motor. I am using a stepper motor to visually represent the position of the pot. I am using a stepper motor and not a servo motor for increased accuracy (this is for a emulated trim position indicator for a flight sim trim wheel).

I can get my stepper motor to work just fine working with the pot, but i need to have the stepper motor be zeroed so the positioning is correct.

I am trying to get a function to move the stepper a single step in one direction over and over until the limit switch is hit from the attached arm. Then it defines the position of the stepper to zero, stops the servo, then runs the function to follow the pot position.

When the limit switch is pressed, the servo motor stops, but when released it starts again. I put a serial monitor to output the value of "start" and it goes from 1 to 2 when i press the limit switch, but when released turns back to 1. I am very confused why this is happening and have not been able to figure out why.

I have tried changing "start" to a bool with no luck and have tried using static bool and static int with no luck either.

code:

#include <Stepper.h>

//Define the steps of the... stepper motor
#define STEPS 64

//Define Stepper motor pins
Stepper stepper(STEPS, 10, 14, 16, 15);
//Int the variables
int Pval = 0;
int potVal = 0;
int Lhigh;
int Llow;
int limitlow = 2;
int limithigh = 3;
int start = 1;

void setup() {
  //set limit switches as pullup inputs
  pinMode(limitlow, INPUT_PULLUP);
  pinMode(limithigh, INPUT_PULLUP);
  //Serial to monitor input of pot
  Serial.begin(9600);
  //Set the speed of the stepper motor
  stepper.setSpeed(200);
}

void loop() {
  //Run 1 of the 2 defined functions depending on state of start 
  if (start = 2)
    servozeroed ();
  if (start = 1)
    zero ();
}

void servozeroed () {
  //Read the limit switches and verify they are not pressed
  Lhigh = digitalRead(limithigh);
  Llow = digitalRead(limitlow);

  //Check limit switches and see if stepper motor is at any extremes of movement
  if (limithigh == LOW) {
    Pval = 512;
  }
  if (limitlow == LOW) {
    Pval = 0;
  }

  //Read the value of the pot
  potVal = map(analogRead(A0), 0, 1023, 0, 512);

  if ((Pval != potVal) && (limithigh != HIGH) && (limitlow == HIGH) && ((Pval - potVal) != 1) && ((Pval - potVal) != -1)) {
    stepper.step(potVal - Pval);
    Pval = potVal;
    Serial.println(Pval); //for debugging
  }
}


void zero () {
  if (start = 1) {
    Llow = digitalRead(limitlow);
    if (Llow == HIGH) {
      stepper.step(1);
    }
    else {
      start = 2;
    }
    Serial.println(start); //for debugging
  }
}

This isn't a comparison, its an assignment. You must use
if (start == 1) {

You mixed it up. Some of your comparisons are correct, others are not.

= for assignment == for comparison

From the if structure reference.

Beware of accidentally using the single equal sign (e.g. if (x = 10) ). The single equal sign is the assignment operator, and sets x to 10 (puts the value 10 into the variable x). Instead use the double equal sign (e.g. if (x == 10) ), which is the comparison operator, and tests whether x is equal to 10 or not. The latter statement is only true if x equals 10, but the former statement will always be true.

You have these three instances where you use = instead of == for comparison.

if (start = 2)
    servozeroed ();
  if (start = 1)
    zero ();

void zero () {
  if (start = 1) {

Wow I can not believe I did not see this... thank you made the change and it sets the value correctly.
Cheers.