August 26 marks the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution giving women the vote. Buildings and landmarks across the country will celebrate by lighting up in purple and gold as part of the national Forward into Light Campaign. The campaign is named in honor of the woman’s suffrage slogan: “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”
Gold was the only color used by all US suffrage organizations (although white also became popular once parades began). The National Woman’s Party Party in the United States used the purple, white and gold combination. In a December 6, 1913, newsletter the organization described the meaning of these colors : “Purple is the color of loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause. White, the emblem of purity, symbolizes the quality of our purpose; and gold, the color of light and life, is as the torch that guides our purpose, pure and unswerving.”
Colors of the Suffrage Movement | Carrie Chapman Catt
So let’s proudly wear our purple and gold!
For information on suffragists, check out RPL’s newest series that explores Virginia suffragists through conversation.