Mysterious White Flags Appear Atop Brooklyn Bridge

Image taken from video courtesy of CBS News
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Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

The white flags - international symbols of surrender - fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

The flags appeared to be American flags that have been bleached white, said John Miller, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism.

It isn't clear who replaced the flags, but Miller says the switch seems to have been the result of a coordinated and well planned effort.

Whoever did it got around locked gates.

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

Miller says around 3 in the morning, surveillance video showed about five people on the bridge. Before the flags were swapped, he says the lights that focus on the flags at the top of each tower flickered within moments of each other. Miller says someone placed what appeared to be a large aluminum pan over the lights.

Several officers scaled the bridge and were seen lowering the flags around 11 a.m. as traffic inched along the bridge.

Miller said investigators are looking at social media to see if anyone claims responsibility, but right now it doesn't appear to be terrorism and could be something like an art project.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says no matter what the motive is, the incident is very concerning and they are asking for help from the public.

Police say whoever is responsible will face charges.