USC creates tradition with official tartan - FOX Carolina 21

USC creates tradition with official tartan

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Source: University of South Carolina Source: University of South Carolina
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

213 years after the founding of the University of South Carolina, history is being made there again.

"When they were making the University of South Carolina, they knew they were doing something historic," said Dr. Marianne Bickle, chairman of the Department of Retailing. "When we were developing the tartan, we knew, too, that this was important. And we were building a historic part to the university."

Bickle and university officials unveiled the official USC tartan Tuesday.  "Old Cocky" was designed specifically for the university, selected via social media by the university community, and registered as an official tartan in Scotland.

"It's really a historic time for us because we're starting a new tradition for Gamecock fans and family," Bickle said.

Tartan plaid has been used for centuries in Scotland for clans to identify themselves, like a USC sweatshirt identifies a Gamecock at a football game.

"We wanted to make sure that it represented the University of South Carolina, so it has our colors, so it shows our clan," said Bickle.

"It will bring the Gamecock family and friends together in another way," she said. "Regardless of what event we're at, we will see our tartan products and be able to say, 'You know what, look, there's a Gamecock and I'm gonna' go up and say hello to that person.'"

It took four years of planning to get to the unveiling, but Bickle said they wanted the Gamecock community involved in the process.

"There will be no other tartan like our tartan. It's absolutely unique.  No one else can make a tartan exactly like ours, so it will be the only tartan of its kind."

A variety of products will be made with the tartan, including ties, blankets, scarves, dog collars, belts, duffle bags and of course, kilts. A representative from the company will be at the unveiling Wednesday to take measurements and orders for custom-made kilts.

Maybe even Cocky in a kilt? If not, there may be some Old Cocky kilts spotted at St. Pats in Five Points next year.

Items are available at Adams Book Store, the Barnes and Noble Book Store at the Russell House and online. More than 10% of sales from the web site will go toward USC student scholarships.

"60 years from now we're gonna' be on our deathbed and we're gonna' say, 'We did this,'" Bickle said. "It was humbling.  We knew we were doing something important. It's making history and we're a part of it."

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