BRUNSWICK

The continuing controversy over the so-called Tequila Party at Bowdoin College has taken a new turn in the form of a product line depicting Gen. Joshua Chamberlain wearing a sombrero with the phrase “Fijar Bayonetas” or “Fix Bayonets” across the top.

On Feb. 20, a party was held on campus where students wore sombreros, donned fake mustaches and drank tequila drawing complaints of cultural appropriation. The story has seen much local, state and national coverage, sparking conversations about culture, ethnicity and stereotyping.

The anonymous sellers, working on both Facebook and the website sombrerogate2016.com, are hawking tanks, T-shirts, posters and coffee cups bearing the image of the Civil War hero and former Bowdoin College president wearing a sombrero.

General’s famous order

The phrase “fix bayonets” refers to Chamberlain’s famous order during his defense of Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg.

The website calls their products, “Sombrero-inspired apparel and accessories featuring former Bowdoin president and Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain donning the sombrero, which he was known to wear into battle as he lead the charge.”

An advertisement on the site urges shoppers to order today to save 10 percent by using the code “TEQUILA” when ordering.

The site is also attempting to use the Twitter hashtag “#sombrerogate” in its marketing. However, the term appears to have first been coined last fall, after University of Louisville President James Ramsey drew flack when he and his staff wore Halloween costumes featuring sombreros, maracas and fake mustaches. Ramsey later apologized.

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