Hidden symbolism during Presidential Inauguration


A view of the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, ahead of the 59th Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s Inauguration Ceremony Wednesday morning was full of firsts.

At age 78, Biden was the oldest president inaugurated.

Kamala Harris became the first woman to be vice president. The former U.S. senator from California is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency and will become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government.

The ceremony was also full of hidden symbolism.

Newly sworn-in Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wore purple.

Made up of a mix of red (Republican) and blue (Democrat), the hue is known as the color of bi-partisanship.

Purple, along with gold and white, also represents the suffragette movement.

Black designers Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson created Harris’ violet jacket paired with her signature pearl necklace.

The necklace also held special meaning for Harris.

The pearls represent the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority she joined while at Howard University. AKA was the first African American Greek-letter sorority. It’s founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” That’s why Harris wears a pearl necklace during most of her appearances.

Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latinx person and the third woman to serve on the court. The two Bibles used as she took her oath of office also held special meaning. One belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, and another that belonged to her childhood neighbor, Regina Shelton.

Another huge display of symbolism was the massive art project standing on the national mall. The Inaugural Committee says the installation is made up of “191,500 U.S. flags of varying sizes: including flags representing every state and territory.”

The Committee said the Field of Flags represents its “commitment to an inclusive and safe event that everyone can enjoy from their home.”

A simple grassroots effort also grew Wednesday. Women decided to wear Converse tennis shoes and pearls to show support for Harris. They’re taking pictures and posting them on Facebook and tweeting them with #ChucksandPearls2021.



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