Brooklyn Bridge mystery: U.S. flags replaced with white flags

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said he's "not laughing" at the substitution of white flags for the U.S. flags on the Brooklyn Bridge.
By Frances Burns  |  Updated July 24, 2014 at 9:05 AM
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NEW YORK, July 22 (UPI) -- A bicyclists group took credit Tuesday for replacing the U.S. flags on New York City's best-known bridge with white flags, the sign of surrender.

But police were still investigating the Brooklyn Bridge flag swap. That suggests at least some investigators think BicycleLobby might be taking advantage of someone else's action.

"Earlier today we hoisted two white flags to signal our complete surrender of the Brooklyn Bridge bicycle path to pedestrians," @BicycleLobby said via Twitter. @BicycleLobby was later revealed to be a parody account.

By late morning, police officers had climbed the bridge's high towers, which rise more than 275 feet above mean high water on the East River, and removed the white flags.

The bridge gets pedestrian and vehicle traffic at all hours of the day and night and is monitored by security cameras. That raises the question of how the flag swap was carried out without anyone noticing.

Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, chastised whoever carried out the substitution.

"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."

The bridge, which opened in 1883, was designed by John A. Roebling and was one of the first suspension bridges in the United States.

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