© GRAPHIC NEWS
President Biden’s inaugural flags
The theme of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20 will be “America United,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced on Monday (January 11). The theme is a reference to Biden’s pledge to bring the country together when he takes office.
Bidens’s inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America will take place against a backdrop of 7.2-metre (25-foot) banners symbolizing the United States’ history.
The five flags are being handmade by lead seamstress Lucille Rodriguez and her team at San Antonio-based Dixie Flag and Banner. Rodriguez’s team makes two Besty Ross flags, two 13-star U.S Navy flags, and one present-day American flag with 50 stars.
Inauguration ceremonies always feature the Betsy Ross and current flag. However, two of the flags represent the incoming President, explained Vanessa Van de Putte, Dixie Flag and Banner president and CEO. The two 13-star U.S Navy flags represent Biden’s Pennsylvania home state, one of the 13 original colonies.
The original use of the thirteen-star flag originated one year after the Continental Congress drafted and adopted the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. The resolution creating the first official flag in 1777 stated, “that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”
Dixie Flag and Banner Company have been in charge of making customized, hand-sewn U.S. flags for the past six presidential inaugurations, dating back to George W. Bush’s in 2000.
American flags carry so much symbolism, Van de Putte said. She added she hopes the Dixie-made flags bring viewers a sense of unity during these difficult times.
As part of the America United theme, the National Mall will also display a “Field of Flags” comprised of 191,500 U.S. flags and 56 pillars of light. The exhibit represents Americans who cannot travel to Washington DC, to attend the inauguration in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.