BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – Can a tie be more than just a fashion statement? Some people say yes.
A Lowcountry councilman is in the middle of a “clothing controversy” that all started when he posted a picture online.
Its a photo from 2017 that shows Michael Covert, who is also running for Congress in 2020, wearing what some people call a Confederate flag tie.
“The Confederate flag doesn’t match any of my attire. My wardrobe doesn’t support it,” he said.
Covert says he’s now able to joke about the online controversy.
“You hate to see time wasted and people’s energy wasted on stuff like this,” he said. “But you know I have a thick neck, and the publicity received for my Congressional campaign because of it has been awesome.”
Covert says the controversial bow tie it’s an “Americana tie,” not the Confederate flag.
“I don’t own anything with the Confederate flag,” he said, adding, “The Confederate Flag is where it should be in South Carolina and that is in a museum.”
But some people on social media still believe the stars and stripes and familiar pattern of the battle flag are evident.
Covert’s tie very similar to several other Confederate flag-themed bow ties, including the “Southern Heritage’ tie found on the American Civil War Museum’s website.
“This was an Americana series tie that I bought from bowties.com,” Covert reiterated, adding that he buys most of his ties on that site.
But if you are looking for the one that has caused the recent controversy, you won’t find it. The company pulled it from the shelves.
In a statement to News 3, Randall Hanauer, the president of R. Hanauer Fine Accessories, which owns bowtie.com, said:
“We were surprised and concerned when alerted to the speculation about our Americana bow tie as its meaning is solely patriotic. Because our respect and sensitivity for our fellow Americans is as strong as our patriotism, we have decided to remove the bow tie from our website.”
But Covert says he’s not ready to toss this tie in the trash anytime soon.
“I’m not getting rid of that tie. It’s an Americana tie,” he stated. “As I said, I will not apologize for my patriotism.”
News 3 asked you to weigh in on our Facebook poll, whether you think the bow tie too closely resembles the Confederate flag.
Out of 1.3K votes, 81% voted “No” and 19% voted “Yes.”