The theme of the 58th Presidential Inauguration, “Uniquely American,” recognizes the symbolic importance of today’s event. We may consider it routine, but the inaugural ceremony remains a uniquely American expression of our constitutional system. The peaceful transition between presidential administrations signals that we are united as a people behind an enduring republic.
For the inaugural ceremonies, five flags adorn the West Front of the Capitol. The flag of the United States is displayed in the center. To its immediate left and right are flags with thirteen stars representing the original colonies, including the colony of New York. The design of this flag is often attributed to Francis Hopkinson, a member of the Continental Congress. The two outer flags, popularly known as the “Betsy Ross flag,” appeared in the early 1790s.