Brooklyn Bridge white flag mystery may be solved

Two German artists claim responsibility for a stunt in which Old Glory sitting atop the Brooklyn Bridge was replaced by a white flags.

Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke said their intention was to celebrate "the beauty of public space," CBS New York reported.

The point of the stunt was to install the flags on July 22, the day the bridges's engineer John Roebling died in 1869.

To prove it was them that pulled the stunt, Leinkauf and Wermke gave a The New York Times a short video they say was shot from atop the bridge's towers with a white flag waving.


One of the white flags placed atop the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

CBS New York

"This was not an anti-American statement," Wermke told the Times. "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," said Leinkauf.

New York's police department says it is investigating the artists' claims, but did not confirm they were responsible.

"The NYPD is aware of the public statements made by the German Artists, Mishcha Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke in regard to the Brooklyn Bridge flag case," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said in a statement.

Prior to Leinkauf and Wermke's claim another group, the "New Pot Party" claimed responsibility.

Last week, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said the agency had "a pretty good idea of who was involved."

"Knowing is not proving. So when we have proof, we'll move," he said.