By Ann Rowland
New York City Council member Mark Weprin tweeted a photo this morning at 8:34 with the question “Why are there white flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge?” It didn’t take long for the conspiracy theories to start circulating around the various social media sites. However, NYPD is not nearly as concerned with the why as they are with who did this and how they were able to pull it off without being detected.
Shortly after the flags were discovered Tuesday morning, officers from Emergency Services scaled the towers and removed the flags and what appeared to be painting supplies. Video taken of the flags seemed to show that there were stars and stripes visible under the white paint. The officers who removed the flags treated them with the same dignity as they would any American flag, folding it into tight triangles. The flags were removed by late morning.
The bridge is one of the most heavily secured landmarks in New York City. There are patrol cars stationed around-the-clock at both ends, as well as, security cameras. The towers which are located more to the middle of the bridge are not always visible to the patrol cars. NYPD announced last August that it was increasing security at all of the city’s bridges after several incidents, including a Flash Dance party on the Manhattan Bridge and a car abandoned on a bridge.
One lane of the bridge was closed while NYPD investigated the security breach. The police are not giving any information out at this time other than that there were white flags flying on the bridge. All questions regarding the incident are being directed to the NYPD.
The white flag is the international symbol for surrender. Nick Krevatas, a bridge painter from Queens, told the New York Post “It amazes me that nobody saw anything….I’m upset.”
Bridges are considered vulnerable to terrorism and while social media enthusiasts like to engage in conspiracy theories, this is considered a serious breach of security to one of the nation’s most well-known bridges. NYPD is taking the scaling of the towers and the desecration of Old Glory very serious.
Image Courtesy: Mark Weprin Twitter Page