Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton delivered her Wednesday morning concession speech in an ensemble so symbolic and so perfectly framed in the TV screen that her message was loud and clear even if you couldn’t find the volume knob.
Secretary Clinton took to the stage a short time ago wearing what appeared to be a black pantsuit with wide purple peak lapels with a purple silk shirt layered underneath. Purple, of course, has become a symbol of political unity (or at least balance) in a country that that uses “red state” and “blue state” as shorthand for the political divisions between Democrat and Republican. Used here as a contrasting color on a black outfit – black being the traditional color of mourning – the message was unmistakable: Her bid for the White House is over and the country needs to come together, not as discrete camps of red or blue but as one wholly combined and commingled purple country.
Purple, we should note, has also long been a color associated with royalty (back in the day it was an exceedingly expensive color to make) and, liturgically speaking (this from my sister-in-law the seminarian) it is the color associated with Advent — the period of reflection, waiting and preparation in many Western churches in the run-up to Christ’s birth.
The defeated Democratic candidate wasn’t the only one to opt for a pop of purple either, her husband, former President Bill Clinton was color-coordinated (a symbol of unity in and of itself) with a purple necktie.
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