Gates explained the significance of her outfit on Instagram.
"Tonight on stage I wore green for a particular reason that's near and dear to my heart: Hoxie: The 1st Stand," the runner-up wrote to fans. "Although I was unable to attend today Hoxie was celebrated at the Arkansas State Capitol for the 1955 integration of Hoxie schools. The first challenged integration in the United States, Hoxie set the precedent for all other integrations in the country. There are two important lessons we can learn from remembering historical moments such as the story of the 1955 integration. 1.) Small communities such as Hoxie can bring change to the United States and have a ripple effect across the world. 2.) We will always overcome adversity through diversity."
Why green? That's Hoxie High School's school color.