- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2014

A marijuana activist said he and his group are responsible for swapping two American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge for two white ones — an act that has baffled New York police for more than a week.

“The Reverend Bud Green,” 49, claimed responsibility for the July 22 swap in his blog. He told the New York Daily News on Thursday that the prank was actually the first part of a two-part strategy, with another set of flags going up later. Increased NYPD surveillance on the bridge foiled that plan, his post said.

“It was interesting that nobody knew what to make of it,” Mr. Green told the Daily News. “It was interesting that people took it as a terror risk. We believe in nonviolent civil disobedience.”

Mr. Green said he is the founder of the POT Party — People Opposing Tyranny — or the New Pot Party, which is pro-marijuana and anti-government.

In his blog post admitting responsibility, Mr. Green wrote: “Please smoke the Peace Pipe with the holy herb and rebel against the military industrial complex and the evil one percent. That is the meaning of why we put up the bleached American Flags. Remember to recite the new Pledge of No Allegiance. Please repeat after me, I Pledge no Allegiance to the United Corporations of America, and to the right wing dictatorship for which it stands, one nation, under the devil, with liberty and justice for only the rich pigs who can afford it. Put that it in your pipe and smoke it Fox News.”

Mr. Green told the Daily News that the people who took part in the flag swap are “big Obama supporters ” who are disappointed in the president for feeding “the military-industrial complex.”

He said he came up with the idea of using white flags, because he knew it would keep people guessing.

“It keeps people wondering what they were about,” he said. “It stands for peace. It stands for surrender. It would make people think about what’s going in. Also the wars. Our solution to the wars is for people to smoke weed and chill out.”

The second part of the plan was to follow up the white flags with two more flags, one with a large green marijuana leaf with the words “Don’t Tread on Me,” and a second with a General Electric logo and a swastika. He said he picked GE because it owns NBC “and he wants to draw attention to large corporations owning the media,” the Daily News reported.

The police department would not comment on Mr. Green’s claim, holding that an investigation is still “open and active,” the paper reported.

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