From crayon pins to 1870 buttons – these are some of the symbols lawmakers wore to the State of the Union


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President Biden was the only scheduled speaker during the president’s annual State of the Union address, and while some lawmakers were vocal throughout Mr. Biden’s speech, many silent statements while in the audience. Some wore crayon pins and many displayed Ukrainian flags – here are some of the symbols spotted in the House chamber.

Crayon pins

Several Democrats were spotted wearing pins on their lapels shaped like crayons. Sen. Patty Murray explained the significance of the pin on Twitter: “Did you see the crayon I’m wearing to #SOTU today?” she wrote. “Great—now that I have your attention, I want to talk about how child care is a serious and urgent economic crisis. Child care has to be a top priority this Congress.”

Several other Democratic lawmakers – including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island – also donned the pins. 

Murray, who spearheaded the effort to wear the crayon pins, has long led the charge for affordable childcare, recently heading the fight to improve the Department of Education’s Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS), which supports low-income families with childcare services at schools. 

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Sens. Elizabeth Warren Mazie Hirono don crayon pins during the 2023 State of the Union address.

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Blue and yellow for Ukraine

Many lawmakers sported Ukrainian flag pendants or blue and yellow ribbons – showing support for the country that has been battling Russian attacks for nearly a year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky wore a blue and yellow striped tie. 

State of the Union
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., left, accompanied by Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, arrive for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address showing support for Ukraine.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was seen sporting a blue and yellow tie at the State of the Union address.

Jacquelyn Martin / Getty Images

Green “118” pins

Several members of Congress were seen wearing little, round, green pins with the number 118 at the bottom. These appear to be pins representing the 118th Congress, which began on January 3, 2023. 

1870 buttons

Some members of Congress wore round buttons that read “1870” to “stand against police brutality, Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey said in a video posted to Twitter

“In 1870, police killed an unarmed Black man. Last year, the number of police killings reached a record high,” she wrote. “Police reform cannot wait any longer. Our communities deserve better.”

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus wore the pins to advocate for police reform.

President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attends the State of the Union address on February 7, 2023 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. 

Jacquelyn Martin / Getty Images

Other lawmakers could be seen showing support for policies and legislation – like Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, who wore a pin that read “ERA YES” to support the Equal Rights Amendment that would guarantee equal rights regardless of gender.

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