Stunning Biden Inauguration Photos Show Thousands of Flags Planted Across National Mall

Hundreds of thousands of flags have been planted on the National Mall ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony this week.

Stunning photos reveal the "field of flags" lining the grass strip leading to the Capitol building in preparation for the scaled-back ceremonies set to take place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

The approximately 191,500 U.S. flags represent those who are unable to watch the inauguration in person.

The flags also serve as a reminder of the almost 400,000 American lives lost due to complications related to COVID-19.

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The Capitol is prepared ahead of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to be sworn into office on January 20, 2021. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty
National Mall inauguration flags
Thousands of flags creating a "field of flags" are seen on the National Mall ahead of Joe Biden's swearing-in inauguration ceremony as the 46th US president in Washington,DC on January 18, 2021. Eric BARADAT/Getty

Americans were able to become a "symbolic sponsor" by donating to a group of nonprofit organizations selected by the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) in order to contribute to the flag display.

On Monday night, blue pillars of light lit up in a 46-second display during the National Mall Lighting that took place at 6:30 p.m., representing the 50 U.S. states and Biden's position as the 46th president of the United States.

The landscape is a stark contrast to the normally packed-out scene, where hundreds of thousands of Americans crowd the lawn to celebrate the swearing-in of the next U.S. president.

This year will be a notably more muted affair, with beefed-up security, no crowds and strict coronavirus distancing for guests.

The capital is instead eerily quiet ahead of the inauguration ceremonies for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

The pair will be sworn into office on January 20 and Biden will take on the role as the 46th president of the U.S.

Security has dramatically increased in the capital and across the nation, with more than 25,000 National Guard members mobilized to Washington, D.C. over fears of violence.

The amped-up preparations are a response to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead, including a police officer.

The day saw pro-Trump rioters storm the Capitol building, where rioters broke through windows, fought with police, occupied congressional offices and delayed the certification of Electoral College votes cementing Joe Biden's victory.

flags cover National Mall inauguration
Approximately 191,500 US flags will cover part of the National Mall and will represent the American people who are unable to travel to Washington, DC for the inauguration. JOE RAEDLE/Getty

Officials have since feared that another attack could take place and the FBI has indicated that "online chatter" suggests violence is indeed being planned.

At a briefing with Vice President Mike Pence, FBI Director Chris Wray said the bureau is tracking "calls for potential armed protests and activity leading up to the inauguration."

"We're concerned about the potential for violence at multiple protests and rallies planned here in D.C. and at state capitol buildings around the country in the days to come that could bring armed individuals within close proximity to government buildings and officials," Wray said.

In a widely-shared message posted to Parler—a social media site largely used by those on the far-right —a QAnon supporter with a significant following said that armed "patriots" would travel back to the Capitol the day before the inauguration.

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Blue lights are beamed into the sky over the "Field of Flags" with the U.S. Capitol Building seen in the background. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/Getty

Multiple states have increased security or shuttered their capitol buildings in anticipation of potential violence.

The official inauguration ceremony, which typically begins around 11 a.m. local time, will be followed by the Celebrating America television program (broadcast from 8:30 p.m. local time), featuring musical performances from a host of artists, according to the PIC website.

"President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol building. After they take their oaths of office, President-elect Biden will deliver an inaugural address laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation," the PIC notes.

The inaugural ceremony will be streamed at the committee's website at BidenInaugural.org/watch and is expected to be broadcast live on all major networks and platforms.