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Stunning 'Field of Flags' at National Mall honors Americans unable to attend inauguration

See the display that stands in honor of the upcoming swearing in and packs the space traditionally filled with Inauguration Day crowds.
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The "Field of Flags" on the National Mall as the U.S. Capitol is illuminated in a stunning tribute to the Americans who can't be there in person on Inauguration Day.Timothy A. Clary / AFP via Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

When President-elect Joe Biden takes the oath of office Wednesday, things will look a little different than they usually do on Inauguration Day.

For instance, he won’t be able to gaze out onto a National Mall packed with hundreds of thousands of spectators eager to witness history in the making. Both the pandemic and the recent deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol prevent that possibility.

But he will see the Mall packed with a perfect tribute to all of those Americans who can’t be there in person.

Hundreds of thousands of flags are seen on the National Mall ahead of Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony as the 46th president. Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images

The National Mall has been filled with nearly 200,000 flags as part of an art display called “Field of Flags,” and on Monday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee, or PIC, illuminated it in a stunning tribute.

The “Field of Flags” is lit up in 56 pillars representing the 50 states and U.S. territories.Joe Raedle / AFP via Getty Images

As night fell on Washington, D.C., 56 pillars of light were turned on, representing all 50 states and U.S. territories, in honor of the 46th president’s upcoming swearing in.

A view of the U.S. Capitol from the National Mall, now covered in a sea of flags ahead of Inauguration Day.Stefani Reynolds / Bloomberg via Getty Images

According to a press release, the flags themselves represent “the American people who are unable to travel to Washington and reflect the PIC’s commitment to an inclusive and safe event that everyone can enjoy from their home.”

The Capitol is prepared for the inaugural ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The display is part of Biden’s inauguration theme, “America United.”

“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” PIC explained in a statement issued last week.

In the same statement, the committee’s CEO, Tony Allen, said, “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."