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'Field of Flags' to fill in for National Mall crowds at Biden's inauguration

Nearly 200,000 flags have been placed on the National Mall to represent Americans who are unable to attend the inauguration due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Close to 200,000 flags of varying sizes now cover the National Mall ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.

The public art display was set up by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to represent Americans who are unable to travel to Washington for the inaugural events. 

“This inauguration marks a new chapter for the American people — one of healing, of unifying, of coming together, of an America united,” Tony Allen, CEO of the PIC, said in a statement. “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 thousands of flags, along with 56 pillars of light, represent each U.S. state and territory.

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The PIC also plans for a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting pool to honor those killed by the coronavirus. The event, scheduled for the evening of Jan. 19, is being billed as the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.” It is also inviting communities around the country to join Washington in lighting up buildings and ringing church bells at 5:30 p.m. in “a national moment of unity and remembrance.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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