Purple seemed to be the colour of the inauguration ceremony of Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, on Wednesday. Many dignitaries chose shades of purple as their outfit’s colour for the event. From Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to senator Elizabeth Warren, several arrived in purple at the ceremony.

Well, this was not merely a fashion pick. Purple signifies a symbol of a bipartisanship-a mix of Republican red and Democratic blue. Purple has a historic connection with the women’s suffrage movement in the US. Besides white and green, purple can also be seen on the suffragette flag. In the 1900s while campaigning for women’s right to vote, suffragettes used to often wear the colour.

According to a letter released in 1913 by the National Woman’s Party of the United States, “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.”

Hillary Clinton in her tweet mentioned that she wore purple to spread the message of unity. “I did wear purple with a purpose because I knew the theme that President Biden was striking was unity. I thought as you combine red and blue, the way that we are divided politically in our country, you get purple,” she wrote.

“I wanted just to send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together,” Clinton added.

CNN stated that for Kamala Harris, purple signified a mark of respect to Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman to run for the presidential election under the Democratic party. She often used purple in her campaign flyers.

Representative Barbara Lee wrote on Twitter, “On this historic day, I’m wearing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s pearls, given to me by her goddaughter, who said that her godmother “would not want it any other way”. Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am. Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice President Harris is”.