Joe Raedle via Getty Images

The “Field of Flags” will take the place of tens of thousands of American people at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, which will take place amid a devastating pandemic and war zone-like security levels, will look strikingly different from anything the nation has seen before.

Close to 200,000 flags stand in the National Mall ahead of Wednesday’s event in Washington, DC. The display is intended to honour the nearly 400,000 people who have died in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as those unable to attend in person.

Normally, hundreds of thousands of people would flock to the Capitol for Inauguration Day. The festivities will be dramatically pared back to limit the spread of the virus and following the January 6 insurrection on the Capitol by rioters seeking to overturn election results, thousands of National Guard troops guard the capital’s streets and landmarks. The National Mall is closed, and fences have gone up around the Capitol and White House.

The flag display lit up Monday night with 56 pillars of light, symbolising every US state and territory. The “America United” theme will follow the message he campaigned on, calling for unity amidst some of the nation’s most divided times in modern history.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

The “Field of Flags” is pictured on the National Mall as the Capitol building is prepared for the inauguration ceremonies.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

Lights were beamed into the sky surrounding the “Field of Flags” as inauguration week kicked off Monday.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of flags represent Americans unable to attend the historic Jan. 20 ceremony.

JOE RAEDLE via Getty Images

Pillars of light representing each U.S. state and territory light up the flag display.

TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images

The Washington monument is closed to the public until Jan. 24 due to security threats around the inauguration.

JOE RAEDLE via Getty Images

The striking display fills the space where thousands of people would usually stand to witness history unfold.

ERIC BARADAT via Getty Images

The flag display, organized by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, makes up part of the event’s theme of unity.