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A large American flag flying above the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge broke loose Friday and fell on a passing vehicle, causing a minor crash, State Police said.

The 20-by-40-foot flag fell as a 2010 Toyota Camry was traveling southbound on Interstate 93, causing the driver, a 55-year-old man, to lose control, spin out, and strike a median, State Police said.

The driver was unharmed, but the car sustained damage to its bumper, State Police said.

Highway crews recovered the flag, and traffic was eventually allowed to resume in all lanes, State Police said.

Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, said the flag fell onto the car because the rope holding it was frayed. He said that exposure to harsh weather, as well as age, contributed to the fraying.

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The flag was supposed to be taken down Tuesday, Verseckes said. The condition of the rope and flag will be monitored more carefully, he said.


Melissa Hanson can be reached at melissa.hanson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @Melissa__Hanson.