200K flags placed on the National Mall ahead of Biden inauguration to represent missing crowd

Nearly 200,000 flags have been placed on the National Mall ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, signifying the tens of thousands of people who won’t be able to attend this year’s ceremony.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee first announced plans to install the public art display, which has flags representing all the U.S. states and territories, on Jan. 11. 

The display was lit up Sunday evening.

“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people — one of healing, of unifying, of coming together, of an America united,” said Tony Allen, CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee. “It is time to turn the page on this era of division. The inaugural activities will reflect our shared values and serve as a reminder that we are stronger together than we are apart, just as our motto ‘e pluribus unum’ reminds us — out of many, one.”

The “Field of Flags” installment covers the National Mall from 3rd Street to 13th Street in downtown Washington, D.C.

Sponsors of the flags will receive special digital materials, including an exclusive certificate of sponsorship, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said.

The committee is planning a largely virtual inauguration this year due to ongoing public health concerns relating to the coronavirus pandemic and what law enforcement officials have said is an increased risk of political violence ahead of the event. There is a heightened security presence across the city following the deadly riot at the Capitol earlier this month.

In September, 20,000 American flags were placed on the National Mall in remembrance of the at the time more than 200,000 Americans who had died due to the pandemic.

Tags Biden inauguration Coronavirus Flags Joe Biden National Mall

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