Dr Pepper Keeps Nation Indivisible (March 2002)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted Dr Pepper’s consumer relations department to thank it for keeping a patriotic design on its cans secular, after Christian groups targeted the company. The can, featuring an image of the Statue of Liberty, displays the words “One Nation . . . Indivisible.”

The company distributed more than 41 million special edition cans to regions in a dozen states starting in November. Mike Martin, director of Dr Pepper’s communications office, told the Dallas Morning News the design reflects “our pride in this country’s determination to stand together as one” after September 11.

A bible academy in Iowa, soon joined by Donald Wildmon’s American Family Association, recently targeted the company for “leaving out God on the cans.”

“It wouldn’t have been practical to print the entire pledge in the area available on the can,” Martin reasonably pointed out.

Martin said many of the thousands of emails Dr Pepper received revealed confusion. Some complained Dr Pepper had “changed the words in the Declaration of Independence” or believed the entire Pledge of Allegiance was written in the can with the phrase “under God” deleted.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation received media coverage for asking its members to thank Dr Pepper “for not tying patriotism to a belief in a god in their marketing campaign.” 

The phrase “One nation, indivisible,” ironically was turned divisive when Congress, in 1954, belatedly inserted “under God” into the secular Pledge.

Freedom From Religion Foundation