How State of the Union Attendees Showed Their Support for Ukraine

Politicians made a statement with their fashion.

politicians ukraine support state of the union
(Image credit: Future)

During President Joe Biden's first State of the Union address, the Russian aggression taking place in Ukraine was top of mind. Biden spent the first part of his speech decrying the violence and promising to support the Ukraine by imposing sanctions against Russia and backing NATO efforts to restore peace in the area. There were a number of other ways that American support for Ukraine manifested itself during the event―the most obvious of which was fashion.

Dozens of attendees wore badges and stickers of the Ukrainian flag, some emblazoned with the words "I Stand With Ukraine." But representatives, cabinet members, and more, made a number of other creative shows of support, as well. These included everything from scarves to blazers to brooches.

Donning the Ukrainian National Colors

If you tuned in to the State of the Union Address, you definitely noticed the sea of blue and yellow clothing that attendees wore in reference to the Ukrainian flag. Victoria Spartz's (R-IN) golden dress and deep blue blazer epitomizes the look, while Representatives Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Lisa Blunt Rochester's (D-DE) ensembles all incorporated the colors in unique ways.

Representative Victoria Spartz, a Republican from Indiana, center, wears a yellow dress and blue blazer, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

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Democratic Representatives ahead of President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address wear a mix of yellow and bright blue.

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Representative Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan), Representative Terri Sewell (D-Alabama), and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware) dressed in various shades of yellow and blue.

(Image credit: Future)

Wearing Sunflower Motifs

Did you know that the Ukraine's national flower is the sunflower? Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wore a striking sunflower brooch atop a bipartisan purple suit in an elegant display of support. New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was also spotted at the SOTU wearing a sunflower pin on her lapel. And First Lady Jill Biden sported a rich blue dress by Sally LaPointe that featured an embroidered sunflower on the sleeve. The first lady often uses her clothing to send a message; on Monday, she wore a minimalist white face mask with sunflower detailing on the side to a Black History Month event.

Elizabeth Warren wearing a sunflower for Ukraine at the State of the Union Address

(Image credit: Future)

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(Image credit: Getty)

Wearing Traditional Ukrainian Clothing

Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) stood out in a traditional Ukrainian dress, called a vyshyvanka, complete with striking embroidery and a soft red cape.

Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, arrives to a State of the Union address by U.S. President Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2022

(Image credit: Future)

Symbolic Accessories 

Some tributes to Ukraine were more subtle. Take U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) pocket square with the Ukrainian colors―a small yet poignant gesture that certainly didn't go unnoticed.

U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California

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Learn how to support and donate to organizations on the ground in Ukraine.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at