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Jill Biden wore white corsage at inauguration as part of tradition with Joe Biden

Other first ladies have worn corsages on Inauguration Day, but Jill Biden's has a backstory from her marriage.
Image: BESTPIX - Joe Biden Marks His Inauguration With Full Day Of Events
U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Jan. 20, 2021.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

The flowers that adorned Jill Biden's dress at the inauguration's evening celebration were chosen to send a message of unity to all Americans — but one blossom in particular had special significance for the first lady.

She revealed in a recent interview with People alongside her husband that she decided to wear a white corsage on her wrist that day because President Joe Biden has a habit of buying her corsages made from white gardenias, her favorite flower.

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Jill Biden revealed that Joe Biden once gave her a corsage of white gardenias, her favorite flower, on Valentine's Day.Tom Brenner / Reuters

"I think it was for Valentine's Day," she recalled as the commander in chief clarified, "The first time."

"It's just a tradition, and he surprised me with it," Jill Biden continued. "I was surprised that people actually saw it on my wrist, but I guess with a zoom lens you see everything."

President Biden then chimed in: "I think it's important to — and Jill does the same thing — let each other know no matter how much time has gone by — I got criticized for saying this awhile ago, but ... she comes down the steps, (my heart) still goes a little boom, boom, boom, boom. For real."

Jill and Joe Biden married in 1977 and have a daughter together, Ashley Biden.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Not only did the white corsage have a connection to the Bidens' 44-year marriage, but it's also part of American history. Other first ladies, from Mamie Eisenhower in 1953 to Betty Ford 20 years later, have also worn corsages on their husbands' big days.

The floral theme of the rest of Jill Biden's outfit on inauguration night symbolized unity among the American people because both her gown and ivory cashmere coat were embroidered with the official flowers of all 50 states, according to designer Gabriele Hearst.

"The Delaware flower is positioned at the heart level of The First Lady, from there, all the other flowers branch out," Hearst wrote on Instagram.

She added that the lining of the coat was embroidered with a quote from Benjamin Franklin as an homage to the career choice of the first lady, who has a doctorate of education and has been a teacher for decades.

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn," the lining reads, according to Hearst.

Doug Emhoff, Vice President Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President Joe Biden wave from East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

For the inauguration ceremony itself, Jill Biden wore a blue coat and dress by up-and-coming American label Markarian.