The 36 stars wrapped around the tower symbolize the 36 states that were needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. The suffragists sewed a star on the Suffrage Flag as each state voted to ratify. Three colors used throughout the sculpture—purple, white, and yellow—were the official colors of the United States Suffragist Movement. Additional women of note are featured around the base of the tower; these women were chosen for their dedication to suffragist ideals, civil rights activism, and/or their distinguished careers.
Seventeen of the featured women are from Northern Illinois; their careers influenced our region in many aspects including education, the arts and humanities, politics, sports, science, civil rights, justice, and peace.