A Public Art Installation Honoring Loved Ones Lost to COVID-19

In Fall, 2020, a national space for mourning emerged outside RFK stadium in Washington, DC. Beginning in late October, this four-acre site became covered by small white flags, each one in honor of an American who had died from COVID-19.


In America art installation, 28 November 2020
(Image courtesy of Mid-Atlantic Drones)

In the central space, the flags were planted in an array to echo Arlington Cemetery’s 270,000 headstones. By the end of the exhibition, the number of flags—267,080—approximated the size of this nearby landmark.

Central Array of In America
(Photo courtesy of Bruce Guthrie)

After 165,000 flags were planted in the center, the public was invited to help plant the remaining flags in sections under the trees. When we ran out of space in this massive field, we moved into adjacent green spaces for placement of flags. The installation ended on November 30th.

In America Flags Timelapse - Suzanne Firstenberg

In America, an installation created by visual artist Suzanne Firstenberg the Fall 2020, emerged in a national space just outside to RFK Stadium in Washington...

(Video courtesy of Ethan Gunnip)

During the installation, visitors were invited to personalize flags for loved ones lost to COVID-19. By the end of the exhibit 1,865 flags were dedicated with names, dates, and special messages. These flags ultimately will be donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and other archival institutions.

(Photo courtesy of Bruce Guthrie)

Through the dedication and support of George Washington University and the University of Maryland, all personalized flags were geolocated and tagged, allowing for the re-creation of In America: How could this happen… in digital form.


Click here to visit InAmericaVirtualFlags.com where you can experience a digitized rendition of the original art installation, view the personalized flags, or dedicate a flag for a loved one lost. We will never forget.

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Suzanne Firstenberg In America

Join Us

Plant a virtual flag for someone you would like to honor who you lost to COVID-19.

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Billboard InAmerica

Inspire Us

Suzanne was inspired to create this community art installation in August after hearing the remark that 170,000 deaths were just a statistic. She notes, “my 25 years of hospice volunteering taught me every life is valuable, no death is just a statistic.”

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Follow Us

Follow along @inamericaflags (Instagram & Twitter)



General information: info@suzannefirstenberg.com


To volunteer or support this project: volunteers@suzannefirstenberg.com

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Donate Now

World Central Kitchen


A message from Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg


“My goal for In America How Could This Happen was to help people to grieve their lost loved one and to show both the enormity of our loss of more than 230,000 lives and the respect for the loss of each individual life.  To partner with a visionary like Chef Jose Andres to help those impacted by COVID-19 by giving food to  those in need and also helping our restaurants survive this coming winter brings an unexpected positive outcome from my art. I encourage everyone who has asked how they can help support my project to give to the World Central Kitchen’s COVID-19 Restaurants for the People program.”


To support In America please go to:  World Central Kitchen