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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    White flags mysteriously replace American flags on top of Brooklyn Bridge

    White flags mysteriously replace American flags on top of Brooklyn Bridge

    Published July 22, 2014 FoxNews.com

    Two American flags were replaced by mysterious white flags at the Brooklyn BridgeMyFoxNY.com


    The two American flags that historically sit on top of the Brooklyn Bridge towers were missing Tuesday morning and mysteriously replaced with white flags, NYPost.com reported.

    It is unclear how the American flags were removed from both towers, but police are investigating security footage. White flags are usually associated in military terms as the symbol of surrender.

    One of the white flags, viewed via video, appeared to have faint traces of stars and stripes on it. Police said it was not clear what time they were placed there - or by whom. Police told Fox News that it is unclear if the flags were placed there legally.


    Mark S. Weprin, a city councilman, posted a photo of the white flag on his Twitteraccount. He wrote, "Why are there white flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge?"


    The iconic span connects Manhattan to Brooklyn and is close to police headquarters near City Hall. The bridge is one of the most heavily secured landmarks in the city, constantly monitored by security cameras.


    The NYPD's Emergency Service Unit replaced both flags by late Tuesday morning. An investigation is ongoing. The city's Department of Transportation, which operates the bridge, referred all queries to the NYPD.


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/22...ooklyn-bridge/
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    Update 11:29 a.m.: Both flags have now been removed.
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    Brooklyn Bridge white flag mystery: Police eye video of group atop span

    Published July 22, 2014 FoxNews.com

    • Two American flags were replaced by mysterious white flags at the Brooklyn BridgeMyFoxNY.com


    New York City police officials said Tuesday that a group of four to five people "and some other individuals" were caught on video atop the Brooklyn Bridge shortly before two white flags replaced the Stars and Strips on the iconic span.

    John Miller, the city's deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, said at an afternoon press conference that the lights illuminating the flags flickered around 3 a.m. just before the switch, and that the locks affixed to the gates on top of the bridge were still in place, suggesting that the perpetrators had a background in climbing training.


    But the motive for the act remained unclear.


    "At this time, it appears (the act) has no particular nexus to terrorism," Miller said. "This may be somebody's art project, or may be an attempt to make some kind of statement. But it's not clear what that statement is."


    Miller said that security video shows that four or five people in a group, "and some other individuals," were seen climbing the bridge shortly after 3 a.m.

    Around 3:30 a.m., the light that normally illuminates the flag on the Brooklyn side of the bridge flickered, then appeared to go out. It appeared that aluminum pans were used to cover the lights.


    He added that there was a 13-minute gap between the two flags going up, which he said was "suggestive" that two individuals, or two teams of individuals, were responsible.


    "It looked like it had been thought out in advance," Miller said.


    The white flags -- which appear to be American flags that were bleached white and measure 20 feet by 11 feet -- were discovered by construction workers around 5:30 a.m. They were removed around noon, authorities said earlier Tuesday.


    White flags are a universal sign of surrender. Miller said whether the decision to use bleached American flags was a statement of patriotism or defiance was "up for everyone's interpretation."


    NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said "he's not particularly happy about the event," and said police were seeking the public's help in finding suspects. Miller added that police are combing social media to see if anyone took credit for the switch.


    Mark S. Weprin, a city councilman, posted a photo of the white flag on his Twitter account. He wrote, "Why are there white flags on top of the Brooklyn Bridge?"


    Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told The New York Post that security for these high-risk targets is a top priority for law enforcement.


    "Political and social expression, whatever its message may be, has a place in our society, but not at the expense of others' security. I am confident in the NYPD's ability to investigate this matter," he told the paper.


    The city's Department of Transportation, which operates the bridge, referred all queries earlier Tuesday to the NYPD.


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/07/22...ooklyn-bridge/
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    Hmmm I'll drink to that!!!!

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NYPD Hunting Artists Behind Brooklyn Bridge Flag Swap Stunt

    Sarah Cascone, Wednesday, July 23, 2014


    A white flag flying atop New York’s Brooklyn Bridge. Police are investigating the removal and replacement of the American flags overnight.
    Photo: Andrew Gombert, courtesy EPA.


    An early morning security breach that saw the American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge replaced with blank white ones, which are traditionally used to indicate surrender, has the New York Police Department speculating that artists may have been responsible, reports Bloomberg. The perpetrators successfully evaded both patrol cars and surveillance equipment during the overnight coup.


    The replacement flags, 10 by 11 foot American flags bleached white, were discovered on the morning of July 22 atop the towers at both ends of the bridge, and have since been removed. Based on security footage, the switch is believed to have been carried out by four or five individuals who began crossing the bridge shortly after 3 a.m. on July 22. Around that time, the spotlights aimed at the flags went out. Aluminum pans were found placed over the beacons during the initial police investigation, which closed one lane of traffic.


    The strange flags attracted interest on social media channels, with users speculating over whether they indicated the city’s final surrender to gentrification, or Brooklyn’s surrender to Manhattan. The New York Post went with “Hipsters Surrender.” One Twitter user, under the handle @BikeLobby, claimed the flags represented the “surrender of the Brooklyn Bridge bicycle path to pedestrians.” Many in the art community speculated that the perpetrator was none other than Jasper Johns, who created many works consisting of all-white US flags.

    One lane of traffic was stopped during the police investigation of the white flags hoisted to the top of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge overnight.
    Photo: Mark S. Weprin, via Twitter.


    For now, the motive behind the flag swap remains a mystery. “This may be somebody’s art project or an attempt to make some sort of statement, but at this time it’s not clear what that statement is,” deputy police commissioner John Miller admitted during a news briefing at police headquarters on the morning of July 23. As far as he can tell, however, the action has “no particular nexus” to terrorism or politics.


    Based on the nature of the incident, Miller believes that some of those responsible must have been experienced climbers, possibly due to construction work. Regardless, he added, “this is a security breach and of concern.” Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams was similarly unamused, asking on Twitter if this was “someone’s idea of a joke.”


    A former police officer, Adams has announced plans to offer a reward for information that leads to the arrest of suspects. “We won’t surrender our public safety to anyone,” Adams assured New Yorkers in a statement (pun intended?). “Political and social expression, whatever its message may be, has a place in our society, but not at the expense of others’ security.”


    This is not the first major security breach at an iconic New York City landmark in recent months. The nearly completed One World Trade Center saw three men parachute off its roof last fall, while in March a New Jersey teen snuck past a sleeping security guard to enter the building and climb up to its roof.


    There’s been no comment from Mayor Bill de Blasio on this most recent incident, probably because the mayor is currently in Italy with his family—a vacation that was very nearly cancelled last week, until Long Island Rail Road employees and the MTA were able to come to terms, averting a potentially devastating strike.


    http://news.artnet.com/art-world/nyp...ap-stunt-65547
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NYPD identify suspects in raising of white flags at Brooklyn Bridge

    Posted: Jul 22, 2014 7:17 AM PDT Updated: Jul 24, 2014 4:48 AM PDT
    By MYFOX NEW YORK STAFF

    Two American flags were replaced by mysterious white flags at the Brooklyn Bridge. July 22, 2014 (MyFoxNY)

    NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -The NYPD says they have identified the suspects for the major security breach that had white flags replace the American flags at the Brooklyn Bridge, one of the most highly secured landmarks in New York City, according to the New York Post.

    Police say they only know the suspects by nicknames, not their legitimate names. They are working on getting their names in order to bring the suspects in for questioning. The Post says nearly three dozen detectives were on the case.


    Two white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. The flags had a faint appearance of the stars and stripes. The American flags that are normally up at the bridge appeared to have been removed.


    Police said that security camera footage showed several people walking on the pedestrian path at about 3:20 a.m. and then the light on the Brooklyn-side tower going out about 20 minutes later. About 12 minutes after that, the light on the Manhattan tower goes out, too, police said.


    Deputy Commissioner for Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller said aluminum foil sheets covered the lights.


    Miller said the NYPD does not believe the suspect's motive was connected to terrorism.


    "They might have experience climbing, in construction or in bridgework," Miller said. "Or that they may have actually been up there before, looking at the dimensions. We have a number of investigative steps we're going to go through."


    Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said whatever the motive behind the incident, he is concerned.


    "I am not particularly happy about the event and have charged Commissioner Miller to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the circumstances," Bratton said. "Again, we are requesting the help of the public on this issue."


    Construction workers first spotted the white flags and notified authorities. Cops took down the flags at about noon.


    "If flying a white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge is someone's idea of a joke, I'm not laughing," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a retired police captain. "The public safety of our city is of paramount importance, particularly our landmarks and bridges that are already known to be high-risk targets. 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."


    Adams is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of those responsible. The money was provided by a private donor, said Adams.


    Several officers scaled the bridge and lowered one of the whitewashed flags at about 11 a.m. and the second about 20 minutes later.


    The NYPD keeps 24-hour surveillance of the span. It also maintains heightened security around all the city's bridges and critical infrastructure.


    Police said an investigation into the white flags was underway.


    The New York Post reported that replacement American flags were being delivered to the bridge.


    "I am confident in the NYPD's ability to investigate this matter," Adams said.


    http://www.myfoxny.com/story/2608031...rooklyn-bridge

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    Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap

    Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap

    By Jessica Chasmar
    The Washington Times
    Thursday, July 31, 2014




    A marijuana activist said he and his group are responsible for swapping two American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge for two white ones — an act that has baffled New York police for more than a week.“The Reverend Bud Green,” 49, claimed responsibility for the July 22 swap in his blog. He told the New York Daily News on Thursday that the prank was actually the first part of a two-part strategy, with another set of flags going up later. Increased NYPD surveillance on the bridge foiled that plan, his post said.“It was interesting that nobody knew what to make of it,” Mr. Green told the Daily News. “It was interesting that people took it as a terror risk. We believe in nonviolent civil disobedience.”Mr. Green said he is the founder of the POT Party — People Opposing Tyranny — or the New Pot Party, which is pro-marijuana and anti-government.In his blog post admitting responsibility, Mr. Green wrote: “Please smoke the Peace Pipe with the holy herb and rebel against the military industrial complex and the evil one percent.

    That is the meaning of why we put up the bleached American Flags. Remember to recite the new Pledge of No Allegiance. Please repeat after me, I Pledge no Allegiance to the United Corporations of America, and to the right wing dictatorship for which it stands, one nation, under the devil, with liberty and justice for only the rich pigs who can afford it. Put that it in your pipe and smoke it Fox News.”
    Mr. Green told the Daily News that the people who took part in the flag swap are “big Obama supporters ” who are disappointed in the president for feeding “the military-industrial complex.”He said he came up with the idea of using white flags, because he knew it would keep people guessing.“It keeps people wondering what they were about,” he said. “It stands for peace.

    It stands for surrender. It would make people think about what’s going in. Also the wars. Our solution to the wars is for people to smoke weed and chill out.”

    The second part of the plan was to follow up the white flags with two more flags, one with a large green marijuana leaf with the words “Don’t Tread on Me,” and a second with a General Electric logo and a swastika. He said he picked GE because it owns NBC “and he wants to draw attention to large corporations owning the media,” the Daily News reported.The police department would not comment on Mr. Green’s claim, holding that an investigation is still “open and active,” the paper reported.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...#ixzz394eA42sb

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  9. #9
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    German Artists Say They Put White Flags on Brooklyn Bridge

    By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN AUG. 12, 2014



    Police officers atop the west tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, where last month two American flags were mysteriously replaced overnight with white ones.CreditRichard Drew/Associated Press


    Mystery solved? A pair of artists in Berlin said they were the ones who pulled off the stunt of the summer, hoisting two big all-white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge last month, swapping them for the usual red, white and blue.

    When the flags appeared, rumors flapped: It was a prank or a grave security breach.


    But the artists, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, say the flags — with hand-stitched stars and stripes, all white — had nothing to do with terrorism. In a series of phone interviews, they explained that they only wanted to celebrate “the beauty of public space” and the great American bridge whose German-born engineer, John Roebling, died in 1869 on July 22, the day the white flags appeared.

    The artists decided recently to explain themselves, and provided slightly cryptic pictures and videos of the flags, seemingly shot at night from atop the bridge. They point to other such projects they’ve done in far-flung places that haven’t made waves, and they claimed to be somewhat taken aback by the reception here.

    Video
    PLAY VIDEO|0:33
    Artists Claim Responsibility for Flags

    The German artists Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke submitted this video as proof that they hoisted two white flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge earlier this summer.
    Publish DateAugust 12, 2014.

    Among other things, the incident, as they describe it, suggests an abiding cultural gap, even in this era of globalization.


    That morning the reaction, both silly and serious, was swift. New York magazine’s blog, “The Daily Intelligencer,” under the headline “Brooklyn Surrenders,” culled a bunch of borough-mocking tweets (“Now Completely Gluten-Free” tweeted @KDonhoops). An embarrassed New York City Police Department started an investigation. Informed of the artists’ statements on Tuesday, the department said the inquiry was continuing.


    For its part, the Manhattan district attorney’s office subpoenaed Twitter to identify the jokesters using the handle @BicycleLobby, who claimed to be the culprits. Toward the end of July, a self-proclaimed founder of the so-called Pot Party also took credit from California.

    (“Put that it in your pipe and smoke it Fox News,” he blogged.)


    Nobody believed him, either.


    But with the photographs and short videos, the German artists have what looks like credible evidence. “This was not an anti-American statement,” Mr. Wermke insisted.


    Mr. Leinkauf added: “From our Berlin background, we were a little surprised that it got the reaction it did. We really didn’t intend to embarrass the police.”


    Speaking by telephone from Germany, the artists cited Gordon Matta-Clark, who famously climbed the Clocktower Building in Lower Manhattan in 1974, among other American artists whose uncommissioned actions in and around the streets of New York inspired them.


    “We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space,” Mr. Leinkauf said. “That beauty was what we were trying to capture.”


    They volunteered that the flag project transpired roughly between 3 and 5 a.m. on July 22. They said they carried the white flags in backpacks up the climbing cables that workers and the police use to reach the towers, and did not see security cameras. They would not say whether other people were involved.


    They had made the flags themselves, they said, spending more than a week hand-sewing them with two kinds of white fabric, alternating the fabrics to make stripes, cutting out holes for the stars from one fabric and filling them in with the other. At about 10 by 19 feet, the white flags approximated the size of the American flags on the bridge.

    The artists stressed that when they removed those flags, they ceremonially folded them, “following the United States flag code,” Mr. Leinkauf said. The flags will be returned, he promised. As with their other projects, he stressed, the plan was always to come forward. “We always face the consequences,” he said. “This is part of the work, to have an open discussion. We just needed a little time to decide how to respond to the reaction.” They are now considering legal advice.


    Their website suggests that for roughly a decade, Mr. Leinkauf, 37, and Mr. Wermke, 35, have focused on the often illegal margins of public spaces. “Places people pass through or pass by, but don’t usually notice, like tunnels and bridges or the tops of buildings,” Mr. Leinkauf elaborated.



    The white flags caused a stir when they were discovered on July 22.CreditChester Higgins Jr./The New York Times

    Their projects (made public through films and exhibitions, mostly after completing the relevant escapades) are intended to draw attention to these sites and to the ambiguities and fragilities of public space. “Our work looks dangerous, but it’s not about that,” Mr. Leinkauf added. “We plan carefully and reduce risk to an absolute minimum.”

    The two have photographs showing that they have scaled buildings and bridges from Tokyo to Vienna, and even attached balloons to the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge in 2007, which went unremarked at the time. That’s when they say they cooked up the flag idea.


    All-white American flags, whatever speculation they provoked, are not inherently suspicious, like the packages that art students planted in New York subway stations a few years back, or the black boxes with “Fear” written on them that yet another art student scattered around the Union Square subway station in 2002. That said, it can seem almost quaint, in this era of headline-hungry provocations, that a couple of artists from Germany say they climbed the Brooklyn Bridge to hang flags that they hoped would come across as only playful, respectful, even poetic.


    But a cultural divide separates still-jittery New York from a much more laid-back, laissez-faire Berlin. “Few people would care if we did the same thing in Berlin,” Mr. Leinkauf noted. “Of course, we did not have the same problems with terrorism.”

    Naturally, no explanations may appease the police or district attorney, who will have to decide whether, and if so, how, the Germans should be held responsible. On Tuesday Stephen Davis, the police department’s chief spokesman, invited them to return to New York: “If they want to come in and speak with us, we certainly would be more than happy to entertain them.”


    As to the specific meaning of those flags, the artists chose indirection.


    Mr. Wermke pointed out that Roebling “moved to the States because he couldn’t realize his dreams here in Germany, and the bridge for us is a symbol of freedom and creative opportunity.” He noted that Roebling based the design of the bridge’s towers partly on Divi Blasii, the Gothic church in his native Mühlhausen. Mr. Wermke and Mr. Leinkauf say that, before flying to New York, they took their white flags to Divi Blasii to give them a kind of informal consecration.

    It so happens, Mr. Wermke added, that Roebling’s son, Washington, who took over the bridge’s construction after the death of his father from an accident, died on July 21, 1926. Hence the two white flags, like shrouds, for father and son, and the choice of July 21-22.


    Asked whether they also had in mind Jasper Johns’s famous “White Flag” painting from 1955, whose enigmatic message has provoked its own speculation, Mr. Leinkauf answered this way:


    “Johns painted objects of daily life, like flags. We are not comparing ourselves to Jasper Johns. But we do see buildings, bridges, and so on as the architecture of daily life, which often goes unnoticed.”


    Mr. Wermke then cited a remark by Philippe Petit, the French high-wire artist, whom the two Germans admire. Mr. Petit walked a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Center almost exactly 40 years ago.

    Why did you do it? he was asked.


    “There is no why,” he responded.

    Correction: August 12, 2014
    A headline that appeared briefly on the home page misstated the occasion for which German artists said they placed white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge last month. It was the July 22, 1869, death of the bridge’s designer, John Roebling, not his birth.

    Joseph Goldstein contributed reporting.

    A version of this article appears in print on August 13, 2014, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Brooklyn Bridge’s White Flags: Art, It Seems, Not a Surrender.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/13/ar...idge.html?_r=0
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