Waves of Flags Returns For 13th Year

Two visitors pause for a moment amid Pepperdine University’s stunning Waves of Flags installation in 2019.

Pepperdine University’s striking 9/11 memorial installation, the Waves of Flags, is on display along Pacific Coast Highway once again this year, despite campus being closed to students due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. However, this year, the popular display will be closed to visitors, meaning members of the public may not park their cars and wander through the flags, a popular activity for many in the LA area to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“Pepperdine has a long tradition of honoring those who have gone before us,” Pepperdine President Jim Gash said in a statement provided by the university. “For nearly two decades now, this community has paused on this day each year to remember, to grieve, and to celebrate the lives of those we lost on that day in 2001.”

The display of 2,977 flags—including 2,887 American flags and 90 international flags, each representing one victim of the attack—was installed on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The flags will be visible through Monday, Sept. 21.

“In compliance with local and state COVID-19 protocols, the Waves of Flags display is closed to the public, including members of the Pepperdine community,” information from the university described. “The display’s perimeter will have signs communicating the closure and the university’s Department of Public Safety will be monitoring the display to enforce COVID-19 protocols. No volunteers will be allowed to assist with the flag installation or removal, and Heroes Garden, along with the rest of the Pepperdine campus, will not be accessible to the public.”