For more than two weeks starting this month, over 600,000 white flags will fill the National Mall — symbolizing the lives lost to COVID-19 in the United States.
Each of the flags, displayed across the 20 acres of grass, will hold a written personalized message from loved ones honoring their memory.
The art installation, titled In America: Remember, was created by Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, the Washington, D.C., social practice artist who first created an installation of white flags outside the District of Columbia’s RFK Stadium in October 2020.
“I wanted to focus on my message. I didn’t purposefully start out to do a large-scale installation. My outrage led me,” Firstenberg said in an interview with NPR.
The 62-year-old artist began to visualize the idea for the installations in March 2020 during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 pandemic after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said that Americans should be willing to take the risk of the coronavirus to protect the U.S. economy.