Mon, 25 Oct 2021

WASHINGTON DC: A display of 650,000 white flags, one for each American who has died from COVID-19, has been set up on the National Mall in Washington D.C.

The flags cover an area of over 20 acres.

Last year, artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg set up more than 267,000 white flags in Washington one for every person who, as of 2020, had died from COVID-19 in the United States.

This year, the number of flags, and victims, has increased to 650,000.

"When the numbers are so big, it's really hard to understand them, so I wanted to physically do that number as a visual artist," she told Reuters.

Some of the flags will include on them a written message from loved ones.

"Taken as a whole, it is a physical expression of empathy," Firstenberg said at the opening ceremony on Friday.

The exhibition, entitled "In America: Remember", will run until October 3, 2021.

The display is made up of 43 sections of white flags and 3.8 miles of walkways, as well as white benches that allow visitors to reflect.

Additionally, individuals can contribute a personal flag to a lost loved one, in person or online.

"Once you take a flag and think of all the grief caused by that flag, then you lift your attention. That is the power of this art understand the immensity of our loss," said Firstenberg.

She said the public's response has been both emotional and has motivated her.

"I was so interested in planting all these flags and making people understand that once people started putting their own grief and experiences on my art, it became really overwhelming," Firstenberg said.

This year's exhibition is designed to give Americans the opportunity to think about the human tragedy caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

More San Diego News

Access More

Sign up for San Diego News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!