Air marshal says he was asked to remove his American flag face covering

An airline passenger who had an American flag on a face covering was told he could not board a Frontier jet.

It happened at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The traveler, who was working undercover as an air marshal, was wearing a gaiter style face covering. According to sources familiar with the incident, a gate agent explained his covering might be offensive to other customers.

"I was outraged," said Ryan Weaver, who learned about the encounter from a friend -- the other marshal who boarded that flight.

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After the unidentified marshal was instructed, he could not wear his covering, he was given a generic mask to put on. He did that but put it under his gaiter covering. Ultimately, he took off his gaiter and boarded the flight to start work.

A spokeswoman for Frontier called the entire matter a misunderstanding. The airline has a policy banning certain styles of masks, but not an image of the flag, according to the airline executive.

The airline gate agent mistook the gaiter covering, which is allowed, for a bandanna style covering, which is not in the policy.