An Iraqi war vet was denied entry to a Six Flags theme park in New Jersey for wearing his patriotic "Keep Calm and Return Fire" tank top, which features a star-spangled M-16.
Mario Alejandro, a former Marine who served time in Iraq as part of the initial U.S. invasion in 2003, was taking his children to Six Flags Great Adventure for a birthday party on Saturday when he was stopped by park security, who told Alejandro he either had to change shirts or hit the bricks.
“I was walking in through the gate with my wife and kids, who were in front of me, when a security guard grabbed me and said: ‘I can’t let you into the park with that shirt on. That shirt’s offensive,’” Alejandro told NJ.com. “I said that it’s not offensive, it’s a military shirt. I told him that I am an Iraq veteran… I served in the war. But he said: ‘I don’t care, you have to take that off… or you need to buy another shirt to put over it.’”
The matter was brought up with the park's security supervisors, who agreed that Alejandro needed to ditch the top. Alejandro opted to leave instead, announcing to other visitors in line that he was being ejected for his shirt.
A spokeswoman for Six Flags Great Adventure told the news site that the incident is under review.
"Our goal is to maintain a fun, safe and family-friendly environment. Our dress code does not permit clothing with vulgar, offensive or violent language or images," she said. "If a guest is wearing such attire, we ask them to remove and replace it with another item of clothing; and if they do not have one, they are able to purchase a replacement item at a gift shop."