Arizona's Official State Neckwear

The bola tie is an icon when it comes to Western fashion and can be traced to Arizona. Its origins, however, go back to 1866 in New Mexico. The Zuni Pueblo Trading Post is said to have a bola tie that dates back that far.

However, it was Victor Cedarstaff (pictured right) of Wickenburg, Ariz., who patented the slide that connects both bola laces in 1947. "Sunset" magazine wrote an account of the story in April 2002:

"Victor Cedarstaff was riding his horse one day when his hat blew off. Wary of losing the silver-trimmed hatband, he slipped it around his neck. His companion joked, 'That's a nice-looking tie you're wearing, Vic.' An idea incubated, and Cedarstaff soon fashioned the first bola tie."

The bola tie rose in popularity, especially in Arizona. In 1971, the state declared it to be the state's official neckwear. It has come to symbolize the Western United States. Many politicians from states like Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and Texas have worn a bola tie on Capitol Hill.

Arizona's love for the tie can now be found at the Phoenix Convention Center. The center is a local hotspot for public art, and at the Valley Metro train stop located at 3rd Street and Washington, you will find a display of more than 30 cast iron bola ties created by Phoenix artist Michael Maglich.

The center is near the heart of Phoenix and Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

Taylor Summers

Photo by Taylor Summers

Back to Central Arizona