Every small flag has a story worth telling. Over 660,000 flags unfold into a sea of white epitomizing lives lost due to COVID-19 in the United States. Some of them even come with messages.
A profound message read, “She made all who knew her feel safe and loved.” These symbolic white flags were courtesy of artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg’s temporary art installation named “In America: Remember” in the National Mall in Washington. The purpose is to pay tribute to such Americans who have passed away during the global health crisis.
Some visitors sat among the white flags. As of Tuesday, at 11 AM, there were 676,286 white flags. The commemoration runs until October 3.
People Represented by White Flags
The name of a 29-year-old engineer is written on one little, white rectangle. Another flag bears the name of a World War II veteran. On another is that of a 15-year-old.
The white flags also stand for the ill-fated effects of the coronavirus on the lives of Americans. They are spread out on a grassy area as the field for the exhibition. It serves as a sea of epitomized grief, extending to 20 acres of the National Mall.
Reprisal of Work
In 2020, Firstenberg made an outdoor installation in Washington featuring over 267,000 white flags. They were also designated to represent one for every individual in the US who had died from the virus. This 2021, she updated her work.
According to Firstenberg as she supervised the exhibit’s development on Wednesday, “When numbers get so large, it becomes difficult to really understand them, so I as a visual artist wanted to make the number physical. Taken holistically, this is a physical manifestation of empathy.”
Visitors Invited to Get Involved
The exhibition is also near the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Washington Monument. Ruppert Landscape volunteers fixated the white flags in three days. They managed to finalize the work on Friday. The installation will be featured for three weeks. Visitors are advised to come to the National Mall, to become part of the commemoration, and to personalize a white flag dedicated to a dear person they have lost.
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