EDMONTON -- As distinguished guests poured out of heavily guarded SUVs at the U.S. Capitol to witness the inauguration of President Joe Biden, a common thread could be seen among many attendees.

Vice President Kamala Harris, former first lady Michelle Obama, and former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton – some of the most influential women at the event – all wore a different shade of purple.

Unlike red carpet events where similar outfits would be ridiculed, political experts and social media users have speculated that the choice to wear purple was intentional, to portray a symbolic message of America coming together.

The colour has long represented bipartisanship, combining the colour red, representing the Republican party, and blue, representing the Democratic party. Swing states are also sometimes referred to as purple states because their electoral status comprises near-equal numbers of red and blue voters.

Purple is also the colour of the suffragette movement, representing “loyalty, constancy to purpose, unswerving steadfastness to a cause.”

Politicians have long used the colour purple to share this message of bipartisanship.

Hillary Clinton wore the colour when she delivered her concession speech after losing the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump. Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, even wore a purple tie.

The message of unity and togetherness was a key theme in Biden’s inaugural address Wednesday.

“We must meet this moment as the United States of America,” Biden said.

“So today, at this time in this place, let’s start afresh, all of us. Let’s begin to listen to one other again, hear one another, see on another.”

He continued, “Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.”