The Daily News wins the prize for best front page this morning with their sensational headline regarding yesterday's Brooklyn Bridge white flag stunt! And it's true, next time it could be a bomb. That sure would be horrible. But next time it could also be a wide variety of things, and we're curious how the News editors ultimately settled on "bomb," of all things. Surely their intention was not to scaremonger readers into buying their newspapers? No no no, and to prove it a source at the tabloid was kind enough to share their list of today's rejected headlines:

  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE GANDALF
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE A BIGGER FLAG
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE A GUY IN A THONG DOING YOGA
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FRAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE A COPY EDITOR
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE YOUR MOTHER
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG NEXT TIME IT COULD BE NO FLAGS AND NO COUNTRIES AND THE ONLY PASSPORT WILL BE THE HEART
  • THIS MITE T'WAS A NAG, TWIXT TIME KUBY RON RON DA DO RON RON
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE A CALM ANALYSIS OF FACTS
  • THIS TIME IT WAS A FLAG, NEXT TIME IT COULD BE LANG LANG

Late yesterday the NYPD said there were no credible claims of responsibility for the white flags. However, one astute tipster told Gothamist (and, unlike these fake rejected headlines, we are not making this up) that the incident coincided with the Apollo 11 moon landing, during which astronauts planted American flags. Two of those flags still remain, but they have been bleached white by UV radiation. Ergo, the tipster warns, the Brooklyn Bridge flags presage a dirty bomb attack on NYC. The tipster lives in Maryland.

The Post, meanwhile, believes it's much, much simpler than that. If only it were that simple:

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