On a Sparse Inauguration Day, an Art Installation of a Field of Flags Replaces Attendees—See Images Here

The installation is in keeping with the inaugural theme of "America United."

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The "Field of Flags" and light installation organized by the Presidential Inaugural Committee in Washington DC. Courtesy of the PIC.

On a day when, every four years, thousands of visitors, politicians, and dignitaries usually flood Washington, DC, to witness the presidential inauguration, the city is eerily empty today (except for the National Guard).

Visitors from across the country were advised not to travel to the nation’s capital due to public-health concerns and threats from pro-Trump extremists. So, in lieu of in-person celebrants, the Presidential Inauguration Committee organized an art installation of 200,000 US flags representing those who would’ve attended the event in different circumstances.

The “Field of Flags” display covers the National Mall from 3rd Street to 14th Street and features flags from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. There are also 56 “pillars of light” representing the states and territories that will light up tonight to honor the almost 400,000 lives lost to the pandemic.

The “Field of Flags” is illuminated on the National Mall. Photo by JOE RAEDLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

“It is time to turn the page on this era of division.” Tony Allen, the CEO of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement. “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.”

 American flags decorate the "Field of Flags" at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

American flags decorate the “Field of Flags” at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

 American flags decorate the "Field of Flags" at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

American flags decorate the “Field of Flags” at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.

Workers work to finish the Field of Flags Art Display along the National Mall. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Workers work to finish the Field of Flags Art Display along the National Mall. Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

Members of the National Guard look on as American flags decorate the “Field of Flags” at the National Mall ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: TASOS KATOPODIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images,

 American flags decorate the "Field of Flags" at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

American flags decorate the “Field of Flags” at the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images.


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