Whether intentionally or not, Katy Perry wore an outfit many took as a political statement during her recent concert in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan.
Perry donned the flag of Taiwan as a cape while wearing a sunflower dress on Tuesday night, an outfit with two-fold pro-Taiwan imagery. Sunflowers were the key image of the Sunflower Student Movement of spring 2014, which found groups protesting a Chinese trade agreement that many saw as unfair to Taiwan. As for the flag, it’s arguably a political statement in itself — as Quartz points out, it wasn’t included in the 2012 Olympic Games.
But was the political imagery intentional? The sunflower connection might be coincidental — Perry has worn that outfit on her Prismatic Tour before. The Taiwan flag, however, was a new addition for her Taipei concert, although it’s unknown if Perry meant it as a political statement or simply as tribute to her audience. Regardless, some took it that way, with many writing they were touched or moved to tears on social media.
Billboard reached out to Perry’s rep for comment.
The relationship between Taiwan (Republic of China) and China (People’s Republic of China) is complicated. While some see Taiwan as an independent nation, many others — including the United States — have formally endorsed the “One China” policy, which adheres to the People’s Republic of China’s position that it is the sole legitimate government.