When businessman Don Sessions sought approval for a patriotic design for his new Ol’ Glory lager, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau would not sanction a beer can with the text of the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
The agency cited a federal statute prohibiting labels with images and statements relating to the American flag, according to a story on newsok.com.
The Pledge of Allegiance is the official pledge to the flag by an act of Congress,” stated the agency’s Sept. 24 denial. “Delete this text.”
Well, the feds have had a change of heart and approved the inclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance on the Made-for-Red-State beer can, which came with an agreement by Sessions to include this wording on the can: “Not endorsed by or affiliated with the U.S. or any other government.”
Even though free expression won out in this case, the controversy shows the power of regulation in the beer industry. Even labels can get a government veto? That was news to me.
But in reading the stories on newsok.com and watching the video below, it also seems like Sessions is out to make a buck and doesn’t really care much about his product. His inspiration for making Ol’ Glory beer? Sessions was peddling energy drinks when a National Guardsman told him, “We drink one energy drink but we’d drink a six-pack of beer.”
So he can slap the Pledge and the words “Under God” on the can in the name of supporting the troops, but I doubt Ol’ Glory is worth drinking.