News & Politics

Hundreds of Thousands of Flags on the National Mall Will Commemorate American Lives Lost to Covid

The exhibition will run from Friday through October 3.

Photograph by Philip Metlin courtesy In America: Remember.

More than 660,000 white flags are in the process of being planted across 20 acres of the National Mall over the course of two weeks to represent the number of US lives lost to Covid. The current toll is currently just over 664,000—or, as of Wednesday morning, one in every 500 people. The project, by artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, is called In America: Remember. 

An opening ceremony is planned for Friday, September 17, at 11 AM at the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue, Northwest, where invited guests such as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser will speak. The exhibition opens to the public Friday and will run through Sunday, October 3, and will allow visitors to stroll among the field of flags. Hours for the exhibition are 10 AM to sunset weekdays, and 9 AM to sunset on weekends.

Photograph by Laura Kelly courtesy In America: Remember.

You can participate virtually as well by dedicating a flag to someone on the In America website. Volunteers will then write dedications onto flags. 

This is the second iteration of the project, the first of which took place last fall at RFK Stadium, where there was insufficient room for the approximate 267,000 flags that represented the death toll at the time. 

Jason Fontelieu
Editorial Fellow