Oklahoma native battles to merge beer, God, country
A businessman with Oklahoma ties has been told he cannot put an image of the U.S. flag on beer he plans to sell. He says the restriction infringes on his rights.
An Oklahoma native is pledging to sue the federal government for the right to print the Pledge of Allegiance on beer cans.
Don Sessions founded Ol'Glory energy drinks and now wants to use his patriotic theme to sell beer under the Ol'Glory name.
But the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau won't sanction the label design, citing a federal statute prohibiting labels with images and statements relating to the American flag.
â€œThe Pledge of Allegiance is the official pledge to the flag by an act of Congress,â€ states the agency's Sept. 24 denial. â€œDelete this text.â€
Sessions says he won't change the label and if appeals to the agency fail, he'll file a lawsuit demanding his First Amendment rights.
â€œI'm losing money, that's why I'm suing,â€ he said. â€œI'm going to spend every nickel I got on this deal.â€
Sessions, 75, is a native of Ripley who now lives in Los Angeles. He has a warehouse near downtown Oklahoma City for his energy drinks, which are sold in 42 states.
Sessions said he got the idea for a beer when a National Guard member told him, â€œWe drink one energy drink but we'd drink a six-pack of beer.â€
The pledge is important to the beer can label because it honors the nation and military, but also stresses the words â€œUnder God,â€ he said.
â€œI'm a Christian,â€ Sessions said. â€œI want to put God in every bar in the country. God is already in the churches. Why not the bars?â€
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