In what is being described as 'a major breach of security', New York City police were investigating how the two American flags that historically sit atop the Brooklyn Bridge's were stolen and replaced with two white flags, known to symbolize surrender.

The flags, waving from each of the bridge's 273 foot high towers, were removed by noon, but police said they are investigating the breach of security at one of New York City's best known landmarks.

The ionic bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn and is close to NYC police headquarters and City Hall.