Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture of the bridge.
Two American flags, measuring 20 feet by 11 feet, that had been bleached white were flying over the Brooklyn Bridge this morning leaving police officials and the public perplexed. By 1 pm, the flags had been taken down by police and replaced with new stars and stripes.
According to the NYPD, around 3:30 a.m. yesterday, the light that illuminates the flag over the Brooklyn side of the bridge flickered and then appeared to go out. Twelve minutes later, the light over the Manhattan tower also went out and later the white flags, the universal symbol of surrender, were discovered. On investigation, the police found the lights covered by large aluminum pans.
“We don’t take these things lightly,” said John Miller, deputy commissioner, intelligence and counter-terrorism. “We don’t look at it as a joke, as art or a form of speech.” However, Miller dismissed any nexus to either terrorism or political movements.
The primary suspects seem to be a group of people who were seen on camera walking on the bridge roughly 20 minutes before the first light went out. If caught, they face charges of criminal trespass, malicious mischief and reckless endangerment.
Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams was incensed over the incident. “If flying a white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge is someone’s idea of a joke, I’m not laughing,” he said in a statement. “Political and social expression, whatever its message may be, has a place in our society, but not at the expense of others’ security.” He even offered a reward that he would personally fund for information leading to the suspects’ capture.