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Mysterious white flags replace U.S. flags flying atop Brooklyn Bridge

Posted: 10:47 AM, Jul 22, 2014
Updated: 2014-07-22 23:41:50-04

BROOKLYN (PIX11/AP) – There’s a mystery brewing in Brooklyn.

Police are trying to figure out who replaced a pair of U.S. flags that are typically perched atop the Brooklyn Bridge with white flags, an international symbol of surrender.

News of the bizarre stunt quickly spread online Tuesday morning as motorists and pedestrians looking skyward noticed the change. One of the flags appeared to have faint traces of stars and stripes on it.

Police said it was not clear what time the flags were placed there, or who did it. By 11:30 a.m., both flags had been removed by officers who scaled the bridge and snatched them down.

Officials say the two flags were American flags that had been bleached white.

John Miller, the deputy commissioner of intelligence for the NYPD, said at an afternoon news conference that the stunt does not appear to be related to terrorism.

"This may be somebody's art project or it may be an attempt at making some kind of statement but at this time, it's not clear what they statement is," Miller said.

The bridge is one of the most heavily secured landmarks in the city, constantly monitored by surveillance cameras.

Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams derided the stunt, saying it jeopardizes public safety especially at city landmarks that are already “known to be high-risk targets.”

“If flying a white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge is someone’s idea of a joke, I’m not laughing,” Adams said in a statement.

“We will not surrender our public safety to anyone, at any time. Political and social expression, whatever its message may be, has a place in our society, but not at the expense of others’ security,” he added.