German Artists Claim Responsibility for Changing the Flags On the Brooklyn Bridge

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Here’s a thing we just learned on the Internet: the air space about Ferguson, Missouri has just been classified as a no fly zone by the FAA. Other things going on today include a fatal helicopter crash in Iraq, in which a reporter and photographer from the New York Times were injured, and the ongoing coverage of actor Robin Williams’s death.

Oh, and also? The mystery of the Brooklyn Bridge’s white flags appears to have been solved.

Two German artists have confessed to the New York Times that they bear responsibility for raising the white flags on the Brooklyn Bridge last month. The duo, Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, say that their, uh, flagfoolery was not intended to terrorize, but rather to celebrate “the beauty of public space,” as well as the great contribution of one particular German-American, John Roebling, to the city of New York. Roebling, of course, was the engineer for the bridge, though he died in a freak accident before the bridge was complete. The date of his death? July 22nd. The date the white flags were raised? July 22nd. You guys! It all checks out!

The artists, who are back in Germany now, say they were surprised by New Yorkers’ panicked reception of the flags, and claim that Germany would have been much more laissez-faire about the whole thing, as Germans are wont to be. So, we guess, in conclusion, relax, New York! Take a lesson from “laid-back” Berlin and just enjoy the view, especially if it happens to feature ghostly American flags.


Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen 

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