200,000 Flags Placed On National Mall To Replace Inauguration Crowd

Nearly 200,000 flags have been placed on the National Mall for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday (January 20) in place of attendees amid security and COVID-19 threats.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee initially announced plans for the "Field of Flags" display on January 11, less than a week after protesters supporting President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol amid the vote to certify President-elect Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, which led to the death of five individuals and forced elected officials to evacuate the House and Senate chambers before later continuing session in the evening.

The display was first set and lit up on Sunday evening, the Hill reports.

“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, via a Biden Inaugural press release. “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" covers the area of the National Mall from 3rd Street to 13th Street in Washington, D.C. and includes flags representing all U.S. states and territories, as well as symbolic sponsorships through charities. Sponsors will receive special digital materials, which includes a certificate of sponsorship, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Wednesday's inauguration was planned to be largely virtual due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic even prior to the incident at the Capitol on January 6, which has since led to heightened security in Washington, D.C.

In September, 20,000 American flags were placed on the National Mall to honor the more than 200,000 U.S. citizens who died during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Getty Images