NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Has the mystery of who replaced American flags with whitewashed versions on top of the Brooklyn Bridge finally been solved, or is this all a publicity stunt?
While a post online from ReverendBudgreen.com claims the "New Pot Party" was responsible for the flag switcheroo on the Brooklyn Bridge last Tuesday, the NYPD said Thursday there is absolutely no truth to the claim, 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported.
"Hello my fellow herb worshippers and revolutionaries. I can finally reveal that it was members of the New Pot Party that put up the bleached White Flags in NY that the whole country is talking about. The Flags symbolize the need for the new Pledge of No Allegiance that the Rev. Bud Green and the Pot Party revealed to the Public on the Fourth of July. On the night of July 22, brave members of the Pot Party and supporters of my candidacy for Prez in 2016 courageously climbed up and put up the new bleached flags."
" This unfortunately is what Amerikkka has become and is exactly why we need civil disobedience and non violent Revolution to truly change this country."
Green, 49, called the Daily News on Thursday to say that the flag replacement was actually the first part of what was to be a two-part strategy, with another set of banners going up later. However, the increased security at the bridge put an end to that.
Green said he is the founder of the POT Party, People Opposing Tyranny, which is pro-marijuana and anti-government.
Surveillance video revealed that around 3:10 a.m., July 22, several people were seen crossing the bridge – four or five of them in a group. Several minutes later, the light that normally illuminates the American flag on the Brooklyn side of the bridge flickered and went out, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said.
When members of the Emergency Service Unit went to the top of the bridge later in the morning to document the scene, they found two 20-foot by 11-foot flags on each tower, which appeared to be American flags with stars and stripes that had been bleached white.
Police also found large aluminum pans that had been affixed with zip-ties to cover up the lights that normally illuminate the flags.
Emergency Services officers took down the rogue flags by 11 a.m. Crowds gathered on the bridge and nearby sidewalks to watch as the officers climbed the cables to take them down from the towers.
Miller said the flag replacement operation appears to have been pre-planned, since someone had to compromise a locked gate and know the size of the pan needed to cover the light.
There was a massive police presence at the bridge the day after the flag switch, and the incident called the NYPD's much-heralded security system into question.
"This is extremely embarrassing for the city as a whole – specifically the NYPD – that after hundreds of millions of dollars in resources, and the famous ring of steel that's supposed to see all and know all, that five individuals – apparently just in the middle of the night – went up there, switched the flag over, and it wasn't picked up for hours," said security expert Manny Gomez.
Miller said Tuesday police do not believe the flags were intended to be a threat.
"It appears to have no particular connections to terrorism or even to politics," Miller said. "This may be somebody's art project or even a statement."
No arrests have been made in the incident. Green told the Daily News he is the only person who has claimed responsibility for the prank.
The NYPD says dozens of claims are checked out and there is no truth to this claim.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories:
for more features.