MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Despite some New Yorkers fearing a message of terror when a pair of bleached American flags were found flying atop the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday, July 22, many in Mount Vernon felt it a sign of expression or art, not a sign from an enemy.
The New York Police Department is continuing its investigation into two flags that were spotted by construction workers on each tower of the bridge at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Once taken down, it was revealed that the flags once carried the stars and stripes, but had been stripped of their color with bleach.
According to reports, on Wednesday, July 23, police were seeking several suspects who had been spotted on video shortly before the flags were stolen. Despite the potentially ominous message, Mount Vernon resident James “Linus” White said that he believed it was a practical joke.
“I saw it on the cover of the newspaper earlier, and I think it’s being blown way out of proportion,” he said. “It seems like a practical joke to me, or at the very worst, some organization trying to send a message.”
To get to the towers, the suspects had to hop a locked fence and scale the towers while avoiding several police units that are assigned near the landmark. No officers will be disciplined, as their detail isn’t assigned to solely monitor the towers.
“I find it funny that no one saw this whole thing happening. I mean, I’m sure that there were some other people crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, I don’t care what time it was,” Shirley Crewe said near Mount Vernon City Hall. “It’s quite the accomplishment to pull something like this off. It couldn’t have been easy.”
Although, it appears that the flag swapping was a benign act, some have worried that a group of potential amateurs were able to pull off such a feat.
“I don’t think I’m worried about it, but if security is so lax that we can swap out an American flag like it’s nothing, who’s to say what damage could be done,” Erick Haller said in New Rochelle. “This might (open up some eyes) and they’ll tighten things up.”