Police: Brooklyn Bridge flags back on US soil

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Police: Brooklyn Bridge flags back on US soil
New York City Police officers stand at the base of a white flag flying atop the west tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
A New York City Police officer carries a bag with a white flag that was removed from atop the Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
A white flag flies atop the west tower of New York's Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York City Police officers descend a cable of New York's Brooklyn Bridge after they lowered a white flag that was flying atop the bridge's west tower, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York City Police officers lower a white flag flying atop the west tower of New York's Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Police stop along the Brooklyn Bridge following the discovery of a pair of white flags that appeared overnight atop the two towers of the Brooklyn Bridge replacing the American flags on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Police are investigating the incident which turned one of New York's iconic pieces of architecture into a police investigation scene as hundreds of curious people looked on. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Police walk along the Brooklyn Bridge following the discovery of a pair of white flags that appeared overnight atop the two towers of the Brooklyn Bridge replacing the American flags on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Police are investigating the incident which turned one of New York's iconic pieces of architecture into a police investigation scene as hundreds of curious people looked on. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Police stop along the Brooklyn Bridge following the discovery of a pair of white flags that appeared overnight atop the two towers of the Brooklyn Bridge replacing the American flags on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Police are investigating the incident which turned one of New York's iconic pieces of architecture into a police investigation scene as hundreds of curious people looked on. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Police stop along the Brooklyn Bridge following the discovery of a pair of white flags that appeared overnight atop the two towers of the Brooklyn Bridge replacing the American flags on July 22, 2014 in New York City. Police are investigating the incident which turned one of New York's iconic pieces of architecture into a police investigation scene as hundreds of curious people looked on. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 29: The Brooklyn Bridge, designed by John Roebling, New York, United States. Aerial view. (Photo by DeAgostini/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Police say the two American flags swiped from the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced with white ones are back on U.S. soil.

New York Police Department spokesman Sgt. Carlos Nieves said Friday that the flags are in the United States. He did not know their exact location.

Two German artists claimed responsibility earlier this month for the July 22 stunt.

Berlin-based Mischa Leinkauf and Mattias Wermke said they replaced the flags on top of the bridge with bleached-out versions as a tribute to public art and to the bridge's architect.

Published reports say the artists turned the original flags over to U.S. embassy officials in Germany. Leinkauf and Wermke did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The flag switch raised questions about security on the bridge, one of New York's most visible landmarks.

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