This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “Is this a pictogram (象形)? If so, what was it supposed to look like? If not, what kind of character is it?”
Note: 覆 was always simplified to 复 in 1964-1986, but now it still simplifies to 复 only in the meaning of "to return/reply". So words like 答覆 反覆 回覆 still simplifies to 答复 反复 回复 in Simplified Chinese. But in other meanings, 覆 no longer simplifies to 复，e.g. 翻覆、覆蓋、顛覆、傾覆、覆轍.