Post-Trump: The colour purple and its powerful message

The colour purple, along with white, green and gold, has held a symbolic place in the women's suffrage movement.

Written by Radhika Iyengar | New Delhi | Updated: November 11, 2016 7:15 pm
Hillary Clinton with her husband, former US President Bill Clinton at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York. (Source: Reuters) Hillary Clinton with her husband, former US President Bill Clinton at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York. (Source: Reuters)

At her concession speech, Hillary Clinton wore her trademark pantsuit, but made a strong departure from the quintessential colours of red, blue and white which she has worn in the past. The departure was intentional and the colour she wore was powerfully symbolic. Clinton took to the stage wearing a black suit teamed with dramatic purple lapels and shirt. Giving her company, Former President and her husband, Bill Clinton too wore a purple tie. The reason for choosing the colour, many argue, was two-pronged.

The colour purple, along with white, green and gold, has held a symbolic place in the women’s suffrage movement. In fact, in 1978 during the Equal Rights Amendment movement, women rights’ activists and supporters proudly paraded in white, wearing purple-gold-white sashes across their shoulders. It is believed that Clintons’ choice of purple was a nod to the women’s movement. “Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now,” she said in her Concession speech.

However, the real message Clinton wanted to send out was much stronger. Purple is a colour that is achieved by mixing blue with red. It was an indication that she and the Democrats were willing to work shoulder-to-shoulder, in unity with the Republicans, overlooking their personal and ideological differences for the sake of the nation.

Michelle Obama took inspiration from Hillary Clinton (centre) at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. (Source: AP) Michelle Obama took inspiration from Hillary Clinton (centre) at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia. (Source: AP)

“I count my blessings every single day that I am an American,” Clinton remarked during her concession speech, “and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us. Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together.”

Taking a cue from the Clintons, First Lady Michelle Obama wore a classy deep-purple dress when she welcomed Melania Trump, the President-elect’s wife at the White House.

Will the colour purple now be associated with Clinton’s call for solidarity of the American people? One can’t be sure, but here are some of the reactions that the outfit brought on social media:

Do you think it’s symbolic too? Let us know in the comments below.