Mischa Leinkauf and Matthias Wermke, the two German artists behind the infamous Brooklyn Bridge flag swap, have given the original flags back to the States. The two artists have made their name doing art of this sort, scaling various buildings and bridges in the past.
NYPD spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves told NBC News that the original flags have returned to U.S. soil, specifically, the U.S. embassy in Germany.
On July 22, Leinkauf and Wermke say they replaced two large American flags on either end of the Brooklyn Bridge with bleached white flags in honor of John Augustus Roebling, the architect of the bridge. Leinkauf explained, "We saw the bridge, which was designed by a German, trained in Berlin, who came to America because it was the place to fulfill his dreams, as the most beautiful expression of a great public space. That beauty was what we were trying to capture."
While the artists may have meant well, they raised numerous safety concerns for the NYPD. Thus far, neither artist has been arrested.