Rumours claim that Pepsi has introduced a new design of can that features both the Empire State Building and Pledge of Allegiance. The rumours claim that the design omits the words ‘Under God‘ from the Pledge of Allegiance because Pepsi “don’t want to offend anyone”.
These rumours are false and have actually been spreading for well over a decade. They are just one example of many different hoaxes that falsely claim a company or entity has appeased another faith or minority by acting in a controversial manner in order not to offend anyone.
Some examples of this rumour can be seen below –
Don’t buy the new Pepsi can coming out with pics of the Empire State building and the Pledge of Allegiance on them. Pepsi left out 2 little words in the pledge: “Under God.” Pepsi said they didn’t want to offend anyone. So if we don’t buy them, they won’t be offended when they don’t receive our money with the words “In God We Trust” on it. How fast can u repost
Pepsi has a new patriotic can coming out with pictures of the Empire State Bldg. and the Pledge of Allegiance on them. But Pepsi forgot two little words on the pledge, “Under God.” Pepsi said they did not want to offend anyone.
If this is true then we do not want to offend anyone at the Pepsi corporate office. If we do not buy any Pepsi product then they will not receive any of our monies. Our money after all does have the words “Under God” on it. Please pass this word to everyone you know. Tell your Sunday School class tomorrow and tell your Pastors so that they can tell the whole congregation. Christians stand up and let your voices be heard. We want the words “under God” to be read by every person who buys a can.
Another version claimed that the offending cans were actually Coca Cola cans –
To drink or not to drink?
Coca-Cola has a new patriotic can coming out with pictures of the Empire State Building and the Pledge of Allegiance on them. But Coke forgot two little words on the pledge, “Under God.”
Coke said they did not want to offend anyone. If this is true then we do not want to offend anyone at the Coke corporate office. If we do not buy any Coke products then they will not receive any of our monies. Our money, after all, does have the words “Under God” on it.
If you agree with this policy, please pass this word to everyone you know. Coke doesn’t have the right to rewrite the Pledge Of Allegiance!! If you do not agree, just erase or delete this message.
This rumour owes its roots to 2001, albeit back then it had nothing to do with Pepsi, or Coca Cola. A handful of months after the 9/11 terror attacks, it was Dr. Pepper who had revealed a new limited edition design on their cans that would last for 3 months (from November 2001 to February 2002.)
The design (above) was intended to be a patriotic message of unity in response to the terrorist attacks, and featured three words from the Pledge of Allegiance, One Nation … Indivisible along with an image of the Statue of Liberty.
Despite the intention, the design resulted in a few complaints and comments from individuals who claimed the excerpt from the Pledge of Allegiance had omitted the words “Under God“, since those are the two words that appeared between the words “One Nation” and “Indivisible“, the words Dr. Pepper has included on the packaging.
Many religious groups claimed the omission was the result of “political correctness” and called for boycotts of the product.
As it typical with these sorts of rumours, they began to morph, and many viral chain emails being passed from inbox to inbox were now claiming that Dr. Pepper had included the Pledge of Allegiance but had omitted just the words “Under God” (not true, since Dr. Pepper has included only 3 words from the 31 word pledge) and that it wasn’t “to offend anyone” (simply untrue.) Also, the rumours began claiming the offending design featured the Empire State Building, and not the Statue of Liberty. Dr Pepper, at one point, issued the following response to the rumours –
The can, released last November, features an image of the Statue of Liberty along with the words “One Nation … Indivisible.” The special packaging was designed to reflect our pride in this country’s determination to stand together as one. The Statue of Liberty and Pledge of Allegiance were chosen as two of the greatest symbols of American freedom.
Due to space limitations on the can, only a few of the 31 words from the Pledge of Allegiance could be used. The available area for graphics limited the amount of verbiage on the can. Of the 31 words in the Pledge of Allegiance, only three were included. More than 90 percent were not included.
For reasons unknown, at some point in 2002 the rumours began claiming that it was Pepsi, from the PepsiCo company, that had printed the design omitted the words “Under God” – possibly the result of the common myth that PepsiCo owns Dr. Pepper (they don’t.)
And from 2002, it has been Pepsi that has remained attached to this nonsense hoax ever since. In September of that year, Pepsi issued the following response –
FALSE RUMOR ALERT: PATRIOTIC CANS
You’ve received an erroneous email about a “patriotic can” that Pepsi allegedly produced with an edited version of America’s Pledge of Allegiance. The truth is, Pepsi never produced such a can. In fact, this is a hoax that has been circulating on the Internet for more than six years. A patriotic package used in 2001 by Dr Pepper (which is not a part of PepsiCo) was inappropriately linked to Pepsi. Thanks for giving us the chance to clarify the situation and please feel free to share this message with anyone else who may have received the erroneous email.
Despite the debunks and dismissals, the claim that Pepsi produced a can that has omitted the words “Under God” still circulate social media, and is a classic example of an urban legend that stands the test of time and – unlike those limited edition Dr. Pepper cans from 2001 – simply refuses to just disappear.