By: Carole West, Director of Youth Education and Eight Square Schoolhouse
According to Tompkins County historian Carol Kammen, this proclamation "...recognizes the long struggle for a woman to be able to take her place in the world outside her home."
Included in this struggle was the 80 plus years that many women fought to secure their right to vote in state and national elections. 2017 is the 100th anniversary of that hard won fight in New York State. In recognition, The History Center will be re-enacting a woman's suffrage march in this year's Ithaca Festival Parade, and we invite all interested persons, including women, men and children, to walk with us on Friday evening, June 2nd.
The use of color became an important symbol to the suffragist. Gold and yellow became synonymous with the national movement, partly in recognition of the fact that many states in the west secured the vote for women much earlier than states in the east. The American motif of the sun and torch on many of the suffrage promotional materials symbolized the movement of the cause from west to east.
Specifically in New York State the colors of purple, white and green were also adopted, promoted by Harriot Stanton Blatch, the daughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Demonstrations in New York State often intermingled these 3 colors with gold. Originally used in the British suffrage movement, purple symbolized loyalty, white symbolized purity and green symbolized hope. When a symbolic banner was created by the National Women's Party during the suffrage ratification campaign, they chose the colors of purple, white and gold symbolizing justice, purity of intent, and courage.
The History Center will provide placards for our suffrage walkers to carry in the Ithaca Festival Parade, and if you have a gold, purple or white flower pin, please wear it to show support for your fellow suffragist and the cause!
If you are interested to march with The History Center, please contact me at: