Forgotten in the flap over whether a design change will cost 1 World Trade Center its status as the nation’s tallest building is the loss of a symbolic New York gesture.

A flashing light — or “architectural beacon” — atop the tower that was to spell out “N” in Morse code has been changed to a simple blink.

“The original design intent was to have the beacon act as a symbolic lighthouse for New York harbor [and the world] flashing ‘N’ in Morse code [dash-dot],” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization. “The design has been altered to a dot-dot to project the beam as far and bright as possible.”

The light itself is actually a cluster of hundreds of LEDs that focus onto a spinning mirror. While the LED lights that will illuminate the 408 foot-tall mast will be able to change color, the beacon will remain white.

An FAA-mandated red beacon will be placed above this spinning blinking white light, which has preliminary approval from the FAA, according to Barowitz.

The original design called for the steel mesh needle that would hold antennas to be enclosed in a fiberglass structure called a radome — short for radar dome.

The Dursts made the decision to remove it when they determined that replacing the fiberglass panels would be a maintenance nightmare. Without it, however, the bare antenna may not count toward the building’s height.

This would push its ranking down under the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat standards to less than that of the Willis Tower and Trump International, both in Chicago. And way under increasing numbers of buildings around the world.