Nearly 200,000 US flags have been put on display on the National Mall by the Presidential Inaugural Committee to represent Americans who will not be able to physically attend President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration.
Inauguration Day 2021 will present unusual scenes for the nation compared to previous presidential inaugurations because of extraordinary security measures taken by authorities to avoid possible deadly violence like the US Capitol riot and the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
— Brandon Chaderton (@Bran_InTheArena) January 19, 2021
The National Mall, where normally massive crowds get together to witness major events in the District, was closed to the public on Friday, January 15. A new fence was set up in front of the National Mall on Thursday evening.
A large portion of streets and bridges have been closed off. Metro also closed 13 stations through the end of service on Thursday.
In addition, DMV leaders released a joint statement on January 11, calling on everyone to stay away from the nation’s capital on Inauguration Day and to attend the event virtually instead.
Biden’s inaugural team has come up with the idea of placing 200,000 American flags to make up for the lack of attendance.
The flag display is illuminated by 56 pillars of light representing the country’s states and territories, according to Brandon Chaderton, who serves as Human Resources Director for Biden’s team.
Airbnb, Facebook Discourage Coming to DC
As part of safety precautions taken by private companies, Airbnb announced last week that it will not allow any bookings in the Washington, DC metro area during the week of Biden‘s inauguration citing calls from DMV area leaders to stay away from the city.
On Friday, January 15, Facebook banned its users from creating new events in the area of the White House, the US Capitol, or any state capitol buildings until after the inauguration.
Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines introduced a temporary ban on carrying firearms in checked bags on flights to the DC area prior to the Inauguration Day.