A traditional highlight of any inauguration is the sea of supporters of the incoming president that flood the national mall from all over the country.
In keeping with the trend of this transition of power being like none other, that tradition will also be massively different.
Because of concerns related to coronavirus and increased security after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the public has been barred from watching the inauguration from the mall.
There is an intense security perimeter that wraps around the entire mall with only one entrance and only credentialed journalists and staff are allowed in.
In place of the people, the inauguration committee has placed 200,000 flags representing all 56 American states and territories.
The flags have been lit brilliantly and give the impression that the mall is packed, when in reality there are very few people down here.
The goal is to make the optics event look impressive for the millions of people watching from home who can’t be here.
One added wrinkle to the presentation: Forecasters are calling for 40 mph+ winds during the ceremony — which means those flags will be flapping.