The inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’s featured several key political figures sporting purple, one of the colors associated with the women’s suffrage movement.
Wednesday morning, several key members of Inauguration Day seemed to make symbolic-strides towards unity between the Democratic (blue), and Republican (red) parties with their choices of wardrobe color.
The country swore-in first female, Black, and South Asian vice-president, Kamala Harris, first caught the internet’s attention with her purple coat, reportedly created by a Black designer from Louisiana, for its representing both bipartisanship and the fight for women’s rights in the United States.
Along with newly inaugurated Vice President Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, former secretary of state, and Senator Elizabeth Warren were all spotted wearing a pop of the symbolic color throughout the day.
The color purple is rich with symbolism. It’s the color of royalty, and according to a letter from the National Woman’s Party of the United States released in 1913, “purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause,” and represents “the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity.”
The color also represents many symbolic meanings for the Americans such as the color of the Purple Heart, the badge of honor, and bravery bestowed by the United States military on veterans wounded or killed in the line of duty.
It is also linked to the title of Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the plight of African American women in the South, a parallel with meaning not lost on the occasion of the swearing-in of Harris.
However, today the color purple was also as simple as 1, 2, 3. Paint by numbers equals, red + blue = purple.
The color was a call for unity to heal the great division between the Republican and Democratic parties’ that have drifted into caustic, violent contention in the last 12 years.