The Incredible Symbolism Of That Sea Of White At The State Of The Union

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The biggest show of all at President Trump’s second State of the Union address was neither the speech itself nor the honored guests but the massive and indomitable sea of white. Of the 102 women serving in the House of Representatives, 89 of them are Democrats, most of whom wore white.  And when so many women are wearing white after Labor Day, we can’t help but notice.

White was the chosen color of the 19th-century suffragettes who knew that in order to be noticed, they first had to be seen. Since then, women in politics have often chosen to wear white as a way of paying homage to those who paved their way. Along with white, the American suffragette attire included purple, in solidarity with the suffragettes in Britain, and gold to represent the sunflower, the state flower of Kansas, which was one of the earliest states to consider granting women the right to vote.